Recent clashes in Yemen capital killed at least 234: ICRC

07 December, 2017, 02:26 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • В Йемене убили бывшего президента

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.

But that alliance unravelled over the last week, with heavy fighting across the capital, and Saleh was reportedly shot dead by Huthi fighters after he fled the city.

Saleh was assassinated in a shooting on Monday December 4 by the Houthi militia while he was heading to his home in Sanhan city, Sanaa.

The head of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard says a plot against Yemen's Shiite rebels was "nipped in the bud", apparently referring to the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Following Saleh's death, the Saudi-led coalition was reported to have blitzed Sanaa with an intensified campaign of airstrikes.

Saleh's slaying likely gives the rebels the upper hand in the clashes in Sanaa, which ended after his death, while also dashing the hopes of Yemen's Saudi-backed government that the former president's recent split with the Iranian-allied Houthis would have weakened them.

There was no independent confirmation, but pictures circulated on social media appeared to show Mr Saleh's body.

At least 13 other journalists and media workers are now held hostage in Yemen by armed groups, including the Houthis and al-Qaeda.

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Strongman Saleh had on Saturday bypassed his Houthi allies of three years, telling the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen he was ready to negotiate if the crippling siege could be lifted.

Saleh's oldest son meanwhile pledged in a declaration sent to Reuters to fight the Houthis and liberate all territory held by the rebels.

More than 11,000 civilians are feared to have been killed in the conflict.

Worldwide aid groups warned today they were losing the ability to reach civilians in Sanaa.

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

The casualty tolls provided by the ICRC are separate from those sustained in airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition which is waging war on the rebels, known as Houthis.

A least 234 people were killed in fighting that the International Committee of the Red Cross described as the fiercest since the start of the conflict.

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.

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