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Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed

Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed

Officials in Ali Abdullah Saleh's General People's Congress party (GPC) confirmed to Reuters that the former Yemeni president and party leader has been killed outside Sanaa, in what sources in the Houthi group said was an RPG and gun attack.

Footage on social media appeared to show the former leader's body wrapped in a blanket with a large wound on the side of his head. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the video, which was circulating widely.

Hadi's forces, trying to take advantage of the collapse of the alliance, announced they would march on Sanaa.

Houthis have recently turned on Saleh, however, and said Monday that they had killed their former ally.

Residents reported that the fighting, which erupted Wednesday, had spread outside the capital.

The fighting in the capital of Sanaa caused residents to cower in their homes as explosions rocked the city overnight.

Earlier on Monday, Al Arabia reported violent clashes on the southern outskirts of the Yemeni capital, where the former president's house is located.

Smoke billows in Sanaa on 3 December 2017 as Houthis and Saleh supporters clash
Smoke billows in Sanaa on 3 December 2017 as Houthis and Saleh supporters clash

But in recent months, the alliance frayed amid Houthi suspicions Saleh was leaning toward the Saudi-led coalition backing Hadi.

Tensions between the Houthi and Saleh's party rose Wednesday after Saleh's supporters refused access of the Houthis to the Saleh Mosque in the south of Sanaa to secure a religious ceremony to commemorate birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

The country descended into a wider civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people while drawing in a Saudi-led military coalition, backed by the United States.

Saudi Arabia views the Houthis as an Iranian proxy located just next door.

It was a grisly end for a figure who was able to rule the impoverished and unstable country for more than three decades and remained a powerhouse even after he was ousted in a 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

"Ambulances and medical teams can't access injured, people can't buy food and other supplies", UNICEF's Rajat Madhok said on Twitter. He remained in the country, however, and continued to wield political power from behind the scenes.

In 2014, his forces allied with the Houthis despite the fact that as president he had gone to war with them on more than one occasion.

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