Yemen’s Huthi Rebels Claim Ex-President Saleh Killed

Yemen’s rebel-controlled interior ministry on Monday announced the “killing” of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, as a video emerged showing what appeared to be Saleh’s corpse.

“The interior ministry announces the end of the crisis of militias and the killing of their leader and a number of his criminal supporters,” an anchor said on the rebels’ official Al-Masirah television, referring to armed supporters of Saleh.

A video provided to AFP by the rebels showed what appeared to be a dead Saleh, wrapped in a floral-print blanket with a severe head injury.

The video showed armed men loading the body into the back of a pick-up truck in an empty, sandy lot.

One of the men shouted “death to Israel” — a slogan popular among the Huthis.

The General People’s Congress, Saleh’s political party, did not immediately confirm or deny the news.

The Yemeni strongman, who ruled for 33 years before his 2012 ouster, on Saturday had announced the end of his alliance with the Iran-backed Huthis, sparking warnings of retribution from the rebels.

Saleh had joined ranks with the Huthis in 2014 — for decades his bitter enemies — to drive Yemen’s Saudi-backed government out of the capital and set up a parallel administration in which the rebels now control the interior ministry.


Yemen Rebel Ally Saleh Says Open To Talks With Saudis

Shiite Huthi fighters walk outside in front of al-Saleh mosque in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on November 30, 2017. MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP

Yemeni rebel ally Ali Abdullah Saleh said Saturday he was open to talks with the Saudi-led coalition battling on the side of government, following deadly insurgent infighting in the capital.

“I call on our brothers in neighbouring countries … to stop their aggression and lift the blockade … and we will turn the page,” the former president said in a televised speech.

The coalition, which has fought Saleh and the Iran-backed Huthi rebels since 2015, imposed a total blockade on the impoverished country last month after a rebel missile was shot down near Riyadh.


Over 2,000 killed in Yemen uprising

Yemen government officials confirmed on Sunday that over 2,000 people were killed in the nation’s year-long political uprising which led to the ousting of embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The nation’s ministry of Human Rights reported that the 2,000 or more casualties include armed fighters, civilians and 120 children that were felled in the spate of violent protests and nationwide clashes.

It also confirmed that some 22,000 individuals were injured in the fighting. The numbers that were revealed as crowds of protesters marked one year since the start of the battle to dethrone long-term leader Saleh.

The figures proved to be much higher than what international organisations had estimated. Earlier this year, London-based human rights group Amnesty International, put the number of protesters killed in the uprising at 200.

For almost one year, armed men in plain clothes loyal to Saleh had taken to the streets, systematically wiping out anti-government protesters.

After much negotiation, Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down last month, accepting an internationally backed deal that exempted him from prosecution, provided he hand over power to his vice.

Despite the terms of the deal, protesters today still called for the arrest and prosecution of Saleh as they remembered the 50 protesters killed last year by snipers loyal to ousted leader.

Violence still roams the streets of Yemen, despite the end of the infighting. Two gunmen on motorcycle shot and killed an American teacher working at the language institute in Taiz city, a government official confirmed.

The teacher, Hamoud al-Sufi had been gunned down in his car, but officials were not clear who the killers might be.

Security officials also claimed that a Swiss research had been kidnapped by tribesmen. She had been abducted in the western city of Hodeida.

Tribesmen deny having a hand in her kidnapping, blaming militants instead. Kidnappings had been common in Yemen even before the conflict, but the year-long war has taken an added toll on the nation’s tenuous security, making matters even worse.