Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed


Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed yesterday by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels as he tried to flee clashes with his allies-turned-foes in the capital.

Sanaa's Houthi-controlled Interior Ministry confirmed his death. "The militias of treason are finished and their leader has been killed," it said in a statement.

Houthi military officials said Saleh was killed as he was travelling with other top party leaders from Sana’a to his hometown of Sanhan. Houthi fighters followed him in 20 armoured vehicles, then attacked and killed him and almost all those with him, the Guardian reported.

Earlier his house was destroyed in fighting that has erupted in Sana’a between Houthi militia and forces loyal to Saleh. Saudi-led coalition warplanes pounded Houthi positions close to the city airport, and the ministry of the interior.

The Saudi bombing was part of a desperate and ultimately doomed attempt to prevent the Houthis taking complete control of the capital. Salah’s death may prompt a furious reaction from Saudi Arabia, which is determined to push back Iranian influence in the country.

Saleh had ruled Yemen for more than 30 years and was forced to resign in 2011 as part of the Arab spring political revolution.