Yemen's ex-president's house blown by Houthis

07 December, 2017, 02:42 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Yemen's ex-president's house blown by Houthis

New checkpoints manned by rebels sprung up across Sanaa on Tuesday as their leaders hailed their control of the capital, rallying supporters and pledging that backers of Saleh were safe.

However, close sources have denied the reports that Saleh was killed.

The Saudi-led coalition battling the rebels had thrown its support behind Saleh just hours before his death, as the longtime strongman's alliance with the rebels unraveled.

Yemen's pro-Houthi Al Masirah television station said the coalition bombed Saleh's residence and other houses of his family members. He sent a video purportedly showing Saleh's body being carried away by a group of armed men chanting, "God is Great".

Yemen Al Youm TV is affiliated with the General People's Congress, Saleh's party.

Sayyid said Saleh and other top party officials had came under Huthi gunfire as they fled Sanaa.

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The collapse of the alliance between Saleh and the rebels saw at least 100 people reported dead in fighting, accusations of betrayal and the former leader reaching out to the Saudi- led coalition.

The government, which has operated out of southern city Aden since being ousted from the capital, ordered an offensive to advance on Sanaa.

Saleh and the Houthis used to be allies in the struggle against the government headed by President Abd-Rabbu Hadi.

At least 13 other journalists and media workers are now held hostage in Yemen by armed groups, including the Houthis and al-Qaeda.

That dealt a serious blow to his already fragile alliance with rebel chief Abdul Malik al-Huthi.

In a televised speech on Monday, Huthi made no mention of Saleh's death but expressed his satisfaction at the day's events.

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"We have notified the leader of the traitor and criminal militias to retract, be wise, to stop his militias from continuing committing crimes", he said, "Today is the day of the fall of the conspiracy of betrayal and treason".

More than 11,000 civilians are feared to have been killed in the conflict.

The conflict has pushed Yemen to the brink of mass starvation and triggered what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Houthi supporters massed in their thousands near the capital's worldwide airport, shouting "Sanaa is free and the state still stands!" and "Yemenis are one!" as rebel chiefs struck a conciliatory tone, declaring they were "ensuring the safety" of members of the GPC - a statement that stood in sharp contrast with the GPC's claims of a Houthi charge against them.

"Ambulances and medical teams can't access injured, people can't buy food and other supplies", UNICEF's Rajat Madhok said on Twitter.

Suze van Meegen, Sanaa-based protection and advocacy adviser for the Norwegian Refugee Council, said Monday that the violence left aid workers trapped inside their homes and was "completely paralyzing humanitarian operations".

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