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Houthi militia leader describes Saleh's death as 'extraordinary and historic'
06 December 2017, 01:06 | Damon Campbell
The Houthi alliance appears weakened
REUTERS Khaled Abdullah
Sources in Mr Saleh's party confirmed he died in an attack on his convoy.
Saleh ruled Yemen for more than three decades until he was forced to resign following the Arab Spring uprising of 2011.
The Houthi claim come as tensions soar between the insurgents and the Saudi-led coalition, which imposed a crippling blockade on Yemen in response to a Houthi missile that was intercepted near Riyadh airport on 4 November.
Saleh's death was announced by the Houthis rebels who have been fighting Saleh's forces for the past week.
The Saudi-led coalition praised Saleh for "taking the lead" in the conflict.
He later formed an alliance with Houthi forces to drive out president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, prompting Saudi Arabia to intervene militarily in the country. He added that he had sent several warnings to Saleh.
Impoverished Yemen has remained in a state of civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sana'a.
Two of Saleh's associates have confirmed and a third official from the government of Yemen's internationally recognized president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has also confirmed.
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Saleh allied with the Houthis, and the support of his loyalist military units was key to helping the rebels overrun Sanaa in 2014 - driving out Hadi's government.
The fighting in the capital of Sanaa caused residents to cower in their homes as explosions rocked the city overnight.
McGoldrick warned the warring parties that any deliberate attacks on civilians and against civilian and medical infrastructure are "clear violations of global humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes".
The whereabouts of Saleh's son, and political heir, Tareq, who was leading the fight against the Houthis in the capital at the head of the Presidential Guard regiment remain unclear.
Yemen's protracted bloodshed has compounded the woes of one of the Arab world's poorest countries and left at least 10,000 dead as hunger and disease have spread.
Activists also published pictures and a video showing Saleh's body as gunmen put it behind a wheel amid cheers, in a scene reminiscent of the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.
Earlier on Sunday, the Yemeni ministry said that dozens of Saleh militiamen were arrested, stressing that the "conspiracy" plotted by Saleh against Ansarullah movement was contained and that security was restored to Sanaa. The following day the Houthis began to dramatically reverse the Saleh loyalists' gains, however.
Iran supports the Houthis politically but denies that it has helped to arm the rebel group. We can't get out of our homes'. Houthi tanks have been firing and the shells were falling on our neighbourhood, ' said Mohammed al-Madhaji, who lives in the Political District.
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