Yemen: dozens killed in fierce fighting over weekend

Houthi militants

The Saudi-led coalition on Saturday welcomed Saleh's offer of talks, a move the Huthi-run Al Masirah TV said showed the coalition's "faith" that the former president would reverse alliances.

A video circulating online on Monday purported to show Saleh's body, his eyes open but glassy, motionless with a gaping head wound, as he was being carried in a blanket by rebel fighters chanting "God is great" who then dump him into a pick-up truck.

Abdel-Rahman al-Ahnomi, a top Houthi media official, told The Associated Press that Saleh was killed near Marib, the eastern province bordering Saudi Arabia.

Saleh was once allied with the rebel Houthis, a Shiite group linked with Iran.

In a televised interview, Salah also called for resuming relations with Saudi Arabia, if the Saudi-led coalition lifts its blockade of Yemeni ports and air facilities.

The Huthis stopped the four-car convoy about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Sanaa and shot dead Saleh, GPC secretary general Arif al-Zouka and his deputy Yasir al-Awadi, a military source said.

He says it is in the interest of the nation to put an end to the strife, and he is urging Saleh to be wise and to cooperate with all efforts to end the strife. Consequently, Tamim offered to mediate for a truce between the two parties to save the Houthis from Saleh's supporters, but Saleh rejected the offer.

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The former Yemeni president's break with the Houthis came after five days of bitter clashes around the capital, Sana'a, between his supporters and those of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia.

"I can hear heavy shelling outside now and know it is too imprecise and too pervasive to guarantee that any of us are safe", she said.

Residents in Sanaa told Reuters that Houthi fighters blew up Saleh's house in the center of the city.

The stalemated war has killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced 3 million.

But even without Saleh's loyalists, the rebels remain a powerful force and it is unclear how much the break with Saleh weakens them.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) dismissed claims that Yemen's Houthi rebels fired a missile towards a nuclear plant in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, state news agency WAM reported.

Almost one million people have been infected by cholera in Yemen this year, including more than 2,200 people who have died, according to the World Health Organization.

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