Reports by Yemen’s Houthi rebel news network claim former president Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed, as a video showing what appeared to be his corpse circulated on social media Monday.
“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 report gave no other details, and Saleh’s death could not be independently confirmed.
The statement comes two days after an alliance between the Iran-backed Houthis and Saleh appeared to have fallen apart.
The two sides joined ranks three years ago and swept across Sana’a, forcing the country’s internationally recognized president, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, to flee the country and seek military intervention led by Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis’ political office accused Saleh of staging a “coup” against “an alliance he never believed in”, after he offered to initiate talks with the Saudi coalition. In a televised speech, Saleh asked for an end to the siege on Yemeni ports and offered, in exchange, to “turn a new page” and “deal with them in a positive way.”
Seventy-five year-old Saleh ruled Yemen for more than three decades before he was ousted under popular and political pressure in 2012.