Ex-Yemen President Saleh killed hours after seeking end to war

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Dec. 4, 2017 at 9:12 AM
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Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed Monday when Houthi rebels bombed his home, sources from both sides of the conflict confirmed.

Saleh stepped down from the presidency in 2011. Initially his political party and the Houthis were allies against a Saudi-led Arab coalition in the Yemen civil war, but in a televised speech on Saturday Saleh condemned the Houthis and said he could seek reconciliation with Saudi Arabia if the coalition attacks stopped.

"I call upon the brothers in neighboring states and the alliance to stop their aggression, lift the siege, open the airports and allow food aid and the saving of the wounded, and we will turn a new page by virtue of our neighborliness," Saleh said in his address.

He added the announcement of a formal dissolution of his party's partnership with the Houthi rebels, saying, "The country has to be saved from the madness of the Houthi group."

It was received favorably by Saudi Arabia, the Saudi government-owned news outlet Al Hadath saying the coalition is "confident of the will" of Saleh's political party, the General People's Congress, to begin a settlement of the conflict.

The Houthis are loosely aligned with Iran, a rival with Saudi Arabia for influence in the Middle East.

Saleh's home was attacked during weeklong clashes with Houthi forces in Yemen's capital city, Sanaa. The television station Al-Arabiya provided a video showing Saleh's body, wrapped in blankets, removed from the home and placed in a pickup truck by Houthi troops. A wound to Saleh's head is evident. Yemen's Houthi-controlled Interior Ministry reported Saleh's death, as did his own political party, the General People's Congress.

There was no information on anyone else in the home at the time of the attack.

At least 125 people have been killed in the past five days of conflict in Sanaa, the International Red Cross said. The conflict has caused a famine and humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

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