Houthi fighters kill Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh

Yemen fighting will lead to 'more tragedy'

The Huthis announced Saleh's death on the rebels' Al-Masirah television station. Today the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh lies dead, killed in an ambush by his former allies, the Houthi rebels. Amateur video released by Houthi media show the former president with an apparent gunshot wound to the head, being carried off in a blanket. One of his sons was also reportedly shot and taken captive by the Houthis.

Saleh was killed by Houthis in a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and shooting attack on his auto at a checkpoint outside Sana'a, according to Al Jazeera.

Saleh's General People's Congress party confirmed his death and blamed the rebels.

"This is after he and his men blockaded the roads and killed civilians in a clear collaboration with the enemy countries of the coalition". It gave no further details.

Earlier on Monday, a Sanaa-based activist said that the Houthis had gained control of most of Sanaa from Saleh's forces.

Albukhaiti said that fighters had secured key areas south of the capital, including the "very strategic" al-Mesbahi residential area, which is approximately 200 metres from Saleh's home.

Saleh ruled Yemen for more than three decades until he was forced to resign following an Arab Spring uprising in 2011.

As president of Yemen, Saleh had fought the Houthis in five conflicts between 2005 and 2012, before allying with them in 2014 after the Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation to restore the internationally-recognized president, Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, after the Houthis had deposed and arrested him.




The Houthis accused Saleh of betrayal, and vowed to keep up the fight against the Saudi-led coalition.

But the head of the Houthis' Ansarullah group warned that the biggest victor from what he described as Saleh's "sedition" was the Saudi-led coalition.

"You can not say this is the end of his political movement, but it's a very big blow", he said.

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

The tactical alliance between Saleh and the Houthis had often appeared fragile, with both groups suspicious of each other's ultimate motives and sharing little ideological ground.

"Let's join hands to end the control of these. criminal gangs and. open a new chapter to rid our beloved Yemen of this nightmare", Hadi said from Saudi Arabia, where he lives in exile.

Former U.S. Diplomat David Mack, now with the Middle East Institute, told VOA Saleh was "one of the smartest political operatives in the Arab world", and the former president believed he had been unjustly driven from office by countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in accord with the United States.

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