Ali Abdullah Saleh, Ex-President of Yemen, Is Said to Have Died

Ali Abdullah Saleh, Ex-President of Yemen, Is Said to Have Died


Which side may have bombed Mr. Saleh’s house — Houthis angry at his betrayal or the Saudi-led bombing campaign — and the exact circumstances surrounding his death were not immediately clear. There were unconfirmed reports that he had been killed while trying to flee the city.

The Interior Ministry, which is controlled by Houthi rebels, reported that Mr. Saleh had been killed, and a video circulated online that purported to show the former president’s body, although it could not be independently verified.

Ali al-Bukhaiti, a Yemeni politician who is well connected with Mr. Saleh’s party, the General People’s Congress, also said the president had died. “The news is 100 percent true,” he said.

Ahmad al-Hawati, a resident of Sana, was told by relatives living near Mr. Saleh’s complex that it had been bombed by rebels, and an official in the General People’s Congress also said the complex, on a busy street, had been bombed. The official declined to be identified by name because he had not been authorized to speak to reporters.

Saleh had been known for years as a shrewd and dogged survivor of Yemen’s tangled, tribal politics. He once compared his years in office to “dancing on the heads of snakes.”

Photo

Houthi fighters outside the residence of Mr. Saleh in Sana, the capital of Yemen, on Monday.

Credit
Mohammed Huwais/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In the latest fighting, he was initially allied with the Houthis, themselves loosely aligned with Iran, but the relationship became fissured and he seemed to be tilting to the Saudis.

“I call upon the brothers in neighboring states and the alliance to stop their aggression, lift the siege, open the airports and allow food aid and the saving of the wounded,” he said in the televised speech, “and we will turn a new page by virtue of our neighborliness.”

The Saudi-led coalition seemed to welcome his remarks. A statement on the Saudi-owned news outlet Al Hadath said the coalition was “confident of the will of the leaders and sons” of Mr. Saleh’s political party to effect a rapprochement.

The weekend maneuvering came as Mr. Saleh’s supporters fought Houthi adversaries for a fourth day in Sana. At least 80 people were reported killed as the fighting threatened to escalate.

On Sunday, Houthi rebels said they had fired a cruise missile at a $20 billion nuclear facility under construction in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, which is allied with Saudi Arabia. But a state-run news agency in the United Arab Emirates denied the assertion.

The fighting in Yemen has been accompanied by signs of famine and outbreaks of cholera as humanitarian conditions have sharply deteriorated.



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