Saudi airstrikes rock Yemeni capital

December 06, 2017

Shiite Houthi supporters have rallied after the death of Yemen's ex-leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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

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

The UN Security Council has called on all sides to de-escalate the upsurge in violence and re-engage with UN political efforts to achieve a cease-fire without preconditions. The council called the deteriorating humanitarian situation "dire," saying Yemen "stands at the brink of catastrophic famine."

Saleh's body, which had appeared in a video by the militias with a gaping head wound, was taken to a rebel-controlled military hospital. A rebel leader, speaking at a rally in Sanaa, said Saleh's wounded sons had been hospitalised, without providing further details.

Saleh's son Salah said on Facebook that he won't receive condolences for his father's death until "after avenging the blood" of the former leader. Salah also urged his father's followers to fight their former allies, the Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

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