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05 December 2017, 02:11 | Katrina Lee
Yemen rebel alliance teeters as strongman turns to Saudis
Yemen's former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed Monday as fighting broke out in the capital city Sanaa, according to government officials and members of his party.
The Houthi-aligned television station, al-Masirah, stated: "The interior ministry announces the end of the crisis of the treason militia and the killing of its leader and a number of his criminal partisans".
A video circulating online purported to show Mr Saleh's body, his eyes open but glassy, motionless with a gaping head wound, as he was being carried in a blanket by rebel fighters chanting "God is great" who then dump him into a pickup vehicle.
Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses a rally held to mark the 35th anniversary of the establishment of his General People's Congress party.
Saleh was once allied with the rebel Houthis, a Shiite group linked with Iran.
The fighting that led to Saleh's death also apparently allowed the Houthis gain control of the majority of Yemen's capital Sanaa.
The source said Saleh's death did not mean the end of the "revolution" against the Houthis, and stated Saleh was now a "martyr of the country".
The Huthis quickly hit back, accusing Saleh of staging a "coup against our alliance".
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Smoke rises during the battle between former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's supporters and Houthi rebels in Sanaa on December 2.
A senior official with Yemen's internationally-recognized government confirmed to The Associated Press that Saleh had been killed.
Analysts say the alliance fell apart after Saleh reached out to the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis. Saudi Arabia views the Houthis as an Iranian proxy on its doorstep, and the rivalry between the two regional powers has amplified the conflict.
The 75-year-old Saleh had previously ruled Yemen for more than three decades after the country's unification but was toppled in 2012 after popular and political pressure during the so-called Arab Spring.
But even without Saleh's loyalists, the rebels remain a powerful force.
At least 10,000 people have been killed in the civil war, which is viewed as a proxy struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
More than 15,000 people have been killed, roughly half of them civilians, according to the United Nations.
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