Yemen rebels disperse protests demanding slain leader's body

Yemen rebels disperse protests demanding slain leader's body

Yemen rebels disperse protests demanding slain leader's body

The Arab League's general secretariat condemned the Iran-aligned Houthi movement which killed Saleh as a "terrorist organisation" and demanded that the worldwide community view it as such.

"Increased hostilities will further threaten civilian lives and exacerbate their suffering", he said in a briefing to the Security Council on Tuesday.

The pro-Houthi Al Masirah television station said on Wednesday Saudi Arabia and its allies had bombed Saleh's residence and other houses of his family members now controlled by the Houthis.

But with Saleh's forces seemingly in disarray, it was not immediately clear if the Saudi-led coalition would be able to turn the split to its advantage.

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari on Tuesday as saying that Saudi Arabia, "on behalf of the US and the Zionist regime (Israel), has a very important role in creating insecurity" in the Middle East.

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Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, a rebel leader, said in a speech Tuesday that "some sons" of Saleh have been hospitalized, without providing further details.

Wednesday's protests took place outside a rebel-run hospital where the body has been kept since he was killed on Monday by his onetime allies, the Iran-backed Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

The funeral of Saleh was expected later yesterday.

Residents reported heavy bombing, and a United Nations official said at least 25 airstrikes hit the city over the past 24 hours.

Speaking before a gathering of supporters, al-Houthi says: "We knew that they were deceived. we hadn't hoped for what happened".

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Heavy airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition rocked Yemen's capital Tuesday, striking Sanaa's densely populated neighborhoods in apparent retaliation for the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh by the Shiite rebels who control the city.

"The Houthis were exerting pressure on them to change their coverage, to issue certain statements and report the betrayal of former president Saleh". The Saudi-led coalition battling the rebels had thrown its support behind Saleh just hours before his death, as the longtime strongman's alliance with the rebels unraveled. The ICRC didn't provide a toll from the near-daily airstrikes.

Much is likely to depend on the future allegiances of Saleh loyalists who previously helped the Houthi group, which hails from the Zaidi branch of Shi'ite Islam that ruled a thousand-year kingdom in northern Yemen until 1962.

The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that Houthi claims on Sunday they launched a missile at Abu Dhabi demonstrated "how destabilizing this war is for the region and how the Iranian regime is exploiting the war for its own political ambitions".

The Houthis and Saleh's forces began fighting each other in Sanaa last week.

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