Unverified Graphic Footage Allegedly Shows Corpse of Yemen's Ex-President Saleh

Yemen’s ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses supporters in the capital Sanaa

It was a grisly end for a figure who was able to rule the impoverished and unstable country for more than three decades and remained a powerhouse even after he was ousted in a 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

In May 2015, following Saudi-led coalition air raids on his home in Sanaa, Saleh officially announced for the first time the establishment of his alliance with the Houthis. He was killed during the.

The wider Yemen conflict pits the Houthi-Saleh alliance against the Saudi-backed government of Hadi. Though he was deposed in 2012, he remained a key factor in the country's ongoing resistance to the Saudi-led, USA and British-backed war against the country, allying his forces with Houthi rebels.

But they vied for supremacy over the territory they ran together, including Sanaa, which the Houthis seized in September 2014, and their feud burst into open combat on Wednesday.

Circumstances for the alleged death of Saleh, who was the leader of Yemen and its precursor Yemen Arab Republic for decades and cooperated with the US, were not immediately clear.

"The decision by (Saleh's) General People's Congress to take the lead and their choice to side with their people will free Yemen of ... militias loyal to Iran", the coalition said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The death of a leader who played a significant role in Yemeni politics is stunning, but experts say Saleh's death won't change the face of the conflict significantly.

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Houthi TV announced the "killing of the treacherous leader Ali Abdullah Saleh and his supporters". Witnesses said dead bodies, those of civilians and rebel fighters alike, littered the streets of Yemen's capital.

Earlier on Sunday, the Yemeni ministry said that dozens of Saleh militiamen were arrested, stressing that the "conspiracy" plotted by Saleh against Ansarullah movement was contained and that security was restored to Sanaa.

The coalition will either have to continue waging a grinding war, possibly trying big offensives against Houthi-held areas at the risk of high civilian casualties, or offer compromises to bring the powerful Houthis to the negotiating table.

Aid organisations were receiving desperate calls for help from families trapped in neighbourhoods engulfed by fighting, he said.

Saleh's statement was dubbed "deception" by the Houthis, who were in alliance with the former President.

He said they had targeted several media outlets affiliated with the former president, including the television channel for which he works, Yemen Today, which was owned by Saleh.

Until recently, Saleh and the Houthis had been allies battling to regain control of the country from the internationally backed government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

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