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Recent clashes in Yemen capital killed at least 234: ICRC

07 December 2017

Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh has paid his life for supporting an Arab positions and standing up against the Iran-styled state in Yemen, analysts said.

Yemen's minister of information called upon the Houthi armed group to release the journalists and urged global organisations to "leave the status of passive onlookers and take acts to press the militias to stop tormenting all the Yemeni journalists", Muammar Al- Eryani told Saba Net.

The Iranian-backed rebels, known as Houthis, killed Saleh on Monday, days after their alliance with him broke down amid clashes in the capital, Sanaa.

Both Saleh and Houthis benefited from their four-year alliance as Saleh got Houthis manpower and firepower while Houthis gained from Saleh's governing and intelligence networks.

Saleh's body, which had appeared in a video by the militias with a gaping head wound, was taken to a rebel-controlled military hospital.

The fighting was triggered by power struggles within the rebel camp, which has been at war since March 2015 with a Saudi-led coalition backing the internationally recognized government.

The gruesome images from the previous day sent shockwaves among Saleh's followers - a grisly end recalling that of his contemporary, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, in 2011.

Saleh was forced to step down in 2012 after his forces waged a bloody crackdown on peaceful Arab Spring-inspired protests calling for his ouster.

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Houthi officials said their fighters killed Saleh as he tried to flee the capital for his nearby hometown of Sanhan.

Yemen's civil war has caused a desperate starvation in the country, as well as a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 2,000 people.

The extent of Iranian support to the Houthis has been debated, but the US and Britain have assisted the Saudi-led coalition with intelligence and refueling support for its airstrikes. Now his exiled son Ali Ahmed Saleh has vowed to lead anti-Houthi Movement and it is to be seen to what extent he succeeds in winning back the family's influence in shaping the destiny of the country.

Saleh's slaying likely gives the rebels the upper hand in the dayslong fighting for the country's capital, Sanaa.

The war and blockade has plunged Yemen into a major humanitarian disaster, leaving 20 million people in need of aid.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday that at least 125 people had been killed and some 240 wounded in Sanaa since the fighting began last week.

Jamie McGoldrick, of United Nations aid agency OCHA, said civilians in Sanaa are "emerging from their houses after five days being locked down, basically prisoners", to seek safety, medical care, fresh water and other survival needs.

Recent clashes in Yemen capital killed at least 234: ICRC