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05 December 2017, 02:28 | Kara Nash
Yemen fighting will lead to 'more tragedy'
Smoke rises during a battle between forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi fighters in Sana'a, Yemen on December 2, 2017.
Speaking from Sanaa, Hakim al-Masmari, editor-in-chief of the Yemen Post, described Saleh as "probably the most powerful person" in Yemen and said the reports of his death had left the country "in shock and awe".
Officials in his own General People's Congress party said Mr Saleh was killed outside Sanaa in an RPG and gun attack on his convoy along with the GPC's assistant secretary general, Yasser al-Awadi.
The staement read "Saleh and his supporters have been killed by Houthis rebels".
Yemen's civil war has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015, displaced more than two million people, caused a cholera outbreak infecting almost one million people and put the country on the brink of starvation.
The ministry also said its forces had "taken over all the positions and strongholds of the treacherous militia in the capital, Sanna, and the surrounding areas, as well as other provinces in order to impose security".
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Houthi went on to blast Saleh for betraying the loyalty of those he had worked with and claimed the ordinary people of the capital could not understand how he had changed sides after three years of denouncing the Saudi-led coalition.
Saudi Arabia, accusing Iran of backing the rebels, intervened in Yemen on behalf of the government the following year.
Earlier on Monday, a Sanaa-based activist said that the Houthis had gained control of most of Sanaa from Saleh's forces.
In a live television address last night President Hadi, the country's officially recognised leader, called on... Saudi-led aircraft continued to fly overhead.
"You can not say this is the end of his political movement, but it's a very big blow", he said.
Former U.S. Diplomat David Mack, now with the Middle East Institute, told VOA Saleh was "one of the smartest political operatives in the Arab world", and the former president believed he had been unjustly driven from office by countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in accord with the United States. His death puts the exclamation point on the end of an era in Yemen that had, for all intents and purposes, already come to a close. "But this is far from over - Saleh was an icon in Yemen for millions, and so his death will not go slowly or unanswered". It was said that they were the strongest party, and that any attempt at driving them out would lead to a bloody war between the two parties in the city's historic streets.
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