Yemen ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh confirmed dead

Leader in the General People's Congress blames Huthi rebels for Saleh's killing south of the capital Sanaa
A Yemeni supporter of President Ali Abdullah Saleh holds his portraits during a pro-regime rally after the weekly Friday prayers in Sanaa on December 2 2011. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
By AFP
Mon 04 Dec 2017 07:48 PM

The party of Yemen's former president and strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday confirmed that he has been killed.

"He was martyred in the defence of the republic," said Faiqa al-Sayyid, a leader in the General People's Congress, blaming Huthi rebels for Saleh's killing south of the capital Sanaa.

Sayyid said that Saleh and other top party officials came under Huthi gunfire as they fled the rebel-held capital towards territory firmly controlled by loyalists of the former president.

The Huthis stopped the four-car convoy about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Sanaa and shot dead Saleh, GPC secretary general Arif al-Zouka and his deputy Yasir al-Awadi, a military source said.

Saleh on Saturday broke a three-year alliance with the Iran-backed Huthis, opening the door to negotiations with neighbouring Saudi Arabia for the lifting of a crippling blockade.

The former president's gamble in quitting his alliance with the Huthis proved to be a fatal step.

As fighting rocked the capital on Monday, the Huthis said Saleh had been killed, and a video they supplied to AFP showed what appeared to be his corpse.

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