Yemen’s Houthi rebels have announced that former president Ali Abdullah Saleh had been ‘killed’.
Reports suggest that Houthi forces blew up Saleh’s house in Sanaa.
Houthi tanks were deployed at the road leading to the main airport in Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday. Saleh’s loyalists appear to have lost ground on the sixth day of heavy urban warfare with the Iran-allied Houthi militia despite the Saudi-led coalition air strikes hammering Houthi positions for a second day.
“The interior ministry announces the end of the crisis of militias and the killing of their leader and a number of his criminal supporters,” an anchor said on the rebels’ official Al-Masirah television, referring to armed supporters of Saleh.
The statement came shortly after a video began to circulate on social media showing what appeared to be a dead Saleh, wrapped in a floral-print blanket with a severe head injury.
On Saturday, Saleh had announced the end of his alliance with the Iran-backed Huthi rebels, with whom he has jointly ruled the capital for three years.
The 75-year-old strongman ruled Yemen for more than three decades, until his ouster under popular and political pressure in 2012.
But Saleh’s party denied to Reuters that their leader had been killed and said he was still leading forces in heavy fighting in Sanaa that has killed at least 125 people and wounded 238 in six days, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
(With inputs from agencies)