Yemen rebels tighten grip | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 06, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:06 AM, December 06, 2017

Yemen rebels tighten grip

Sanaa clashes kill 234; exiled son of slain Saleh calls for revenge

  • Saudi Arabia calls for Yemen free of 'Iran-backed militias' 

  • Aggressors will regret their actions: Rouhani

  • UN urges 'humanitarian' truce


Yemen's Huthi rebels moved to cement their grip on the capital yesterday after killing former president Ali Abdullah Saleh as he fled the city following the collapse of their uneasy alliance.

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Residents reported a few minor clashes between the Huthis and Saleh supporters late on Monday in southern districts which had been loyal to the slain strongman.

But there was no repetition of the heavy fighting that had rocked Sanaa for the five previous nights.

A least 234 people were killed and 400 wounded in those clashes, the International Committee of the Red Cross said yesterday.

New checkpoints manned by rebels sprung up across Sanaa as their leaders hailed their control of the capital, reported AFP.

Sammad said he had ordered the security forces to "take steps against the saboteurs and all those who collaborated with them".

The capital was awash with unconfirmed rumours of widespread arrests of suspected Saleh supporters in the army and the rebel government.

Meanwhile, the son of Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh has called for revenge against the armed Houthi movement that killed the veteran leader after he switched sides in the civil war, reported Reuters.

Saudi Arabia yesterday called for a Yemen free of "militias supported by Iran", in its first official statement since rebels killed their erstwhile ally former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"The Saudi Arabian cabinet expresses the hope that the uprising of the Yemeni people against the sectarian terrorist Huthi militias supported by Iran will free Yemen of abuse, death threats and the appropriation of public and private property," it said in a statement published on the official SPA news agency.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a televised speech, yesterday warned that those attacking Yemen would regret it.

And the UN yesterday called for a "humanitarian" truce in air strikes and fighting in Yemen as it seeks to deliver aid to civilians trapped in the capital Sanaa.

Saleh, who ruled Yemen for three decades, had joined forces with the Huthis in 2014 when they took control of large parts of the country. 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 Huthis since March 2015.

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