Friday, 15 December, 2017

Yemeni women protest for body of slain leader Saleh

A boy stands behind armed Houthi followers attending a rally to celebrate the killing of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa A boy stands behind armed Houthi followers attending a rally to celebrate the killing of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa
Kenny Thornton | 06 December, 2017, 21:21

The gruesome images from the previous day sent shockwaves among Saleh's followers - a grisly end recalling that of his contemporary, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, in 2011.

In a televised speech, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi called on Yemenis to rise up against the Iran-aligned Houthis. But that alliance unravelled over the past week as the former leader reached out to the Saudi-led coalition that has waged an air campaign against the Houthis since March 2015.

Saleh had joined forces with the Houthis in 2014 when they took control of large parts of the country, including the capital.

Yemen's stalemated war has killed over 10,000 civilians and displaced 3 million. Speaking to reporters by phone from Sanaa, he said that "at the same time, people are bracing themselves for more".

A second group of women gathered in front of Sanaa military hospital, shouting: "The people want the remains of the leader", witnesses said. The Houthi-controlled interior ministry distributed a video of dozens of seated barefoot men it said were pro-Saleh fighters detained in one of its party headquarters.

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"Yemen stands on the brink of a catastrophic starvation", he said.

Bessho said the 15-member council was deeply concerned about the sharp escalation in violence as well as "the dire and deteriorating" humanitarian situation in Yemen. Speaking with reporters on a military aircraft en route to Washington, Mattis said his death could either push the conflict towards United Nations peace negotiations or make it an "even more vicious war". "He got what he deserved", Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Iran's supreme leader, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Dujarric, the U.N. spokesman, told reporters that U.N. special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told a closed meeting of the U.N. Security Council that the killing of Saleh and others was "an adverse development" that will "constitute a considerable change to the political dynamics in Yemen". Much is likely to depend on the future allegiances of Saleh loyalists who previously helped the Houthi group, which hails from the Zaidi branch of Shi'ite Islam that ruled a thousand-year kingdom in northern Yemen until 1962.

There was fierce fighting between Saleh's forces and the Houthis in the city on Saturday night and Sunday.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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