According to reports by Yemen’s Houthi-run radio station, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by Houthi rebels in an attack in Sanaa on Monday. Saleh had reportedly re-aligned himself with Saudi Arabia and was considered a traitor by the Shiite Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

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Former Yemeni president and rebel ally Ali Abdullah Saleh was reportedly killed by Houthi rebels in an attack in the country’s capital on Monday. The report, at first unverified, was confirmed by Yemen’s Houthi-run Interior Ministry’s radio station.

Recent reports indicated that Saleh, who was previously loyal to the Houthi rebels, attempted to “break off” from the group and re-align himself with the country’s Saudi-backed coalition. This move was not well received by the rebels, who viewed it as an act of treason. According to the reports, Saleh intended to flee to Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, Houthi rebels circulated a video allegedly featuring Saleh’s body in the back of a truck. In response, the coalition forces reportedly launched an attack against the rebels.

Fighting in Yemen

Fighting in Yemen Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Saleh was elected as Yemen’s president in 1978 and was considered Yemen’s legitimate leader for many years until the Arab Spring brought about his downfall in 2011. According to the Red Cross, at least 125 people have died and 238 have been injured since last week in the fighting between the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels and Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa.

On Sunday, the UN called for an end to all armed clashes in Sanaa in a statement issued by Secretary-General António Guterres’ spokesman. “The Secretary-General calls on all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law,” read the statement. “It is paramount that civilians are protected, that the wounded are afforded safe access to medical care, and that all sides facilitate life-saving humanitarian access.”