The rumors of Saleh’s death have reportedly been denied by sources in his party.
Houthis’ forces’ representative Yahya al Mehdi has told Sputnik Arabic that former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh had allegedly been killed, confirming Iranian media Alalam reports. The head of a department of the Yemeni army, which is in alliance with the Houthis, Yahya al Mahdi has also confirmed to Sputnik the death of Saleh.
According to Yahya al Mahdi, Saleh was allegedly killed several several hours ago on the Sinhan-Maareb highway amid his secret movements through the country.
However, the claims have been denied by the Yemeni General People’s Congress (Saleh’s party) sources cited by Sky News Arabia.
The speculations of Saleh’s death comes minutes after Reuters reported citing local residents that Houthi rebels had allegedly blown up the house of ex-President Saleh in Sanaa. However, no official confirmation of the information has followed so far.
While the current whereabouts of Saleh reportedly remain unknown, the alleged attack comes amid a six-day heavy fighting in the Yemeni capital between the forces loyal to the ex-president and the rebels.
In a Saturday speech, described by the Houthis as “deception,” Saleh announced that he was ready to turn “a new page” in relations with the Saudi-led coalition, listing two demands.
Following the surprise breakdown of the alliance between Saleh and the rebels, the Saudi-led coalition welcomed Saleh’s announcement and a day later allegedly bombed Houthi positions in the city, with no official confirmation of the airstrikes following so far.
At the same time, clashes between the former allies — the Houthis and supporters of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, have been ongoing in the southern districts of the Yemeni capital for already six days after an alleged attempt by the rebels to seize the city’s main mosque.
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Amid the ongoing “street war” in Sanaa, the Houthis reportedly seized studios of the Yemen Today broadcaster, owned by Saleh, trapping some 20 employees inside over the weekend.
The Saudi-led coalition has started an operation in Yemen in 2015 at the request of the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthi rebels allied with Saleh forced him into exile.