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Yemen: Street battle erupts near ex-president Saleh's home in capital

A wave of air raids rattled Sanaa on Monday [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 December, 2017

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Fighting between formerly allied rebel forces has erupted close to the home of ex-president Yemeni Ali Abdullah Saleh in the crisis-hit capital Sanaa, witnesses have reported.

Fighting between formerly allied rebel forces has erupted close to the home of ex-president Yemeni Ali Abdullah Saleh in the crisis-hit capital Sanaa, witnesses have reported.

Sanaa residents told The New Arab that fierce clashes between Houthi rebels and Saleh supporters began early on Monday in the city's south-western al-Siyasi district close to the former leader's residence.

A wave of air raids rattled the city on Monday, as clashes also spread beyond Sanaa.

The strikes appeared to hit targets near Sanaa International Airport and the interior ministry, both under the control of the Houthi rebels, according to residents and a source inside the airport.

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia is the only party in the Yemen war known to conduct air raids on Sanaa.

Residents also reported that the fighting, which erupted Wednesday night between armed Saleh supporters and Houthi fighters, had spread outside the capital.

Tribal sources in Saleh's hometown Sanhan, south of Sanaa, on Monday reported intense overnight fighting between the Houthis and Saleh loyalists.

The clashes in the capital had killed some 60 people as of Sunday.

Fighting erupted between the rebels and forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh last week, unravelling their fragile alliance, formed in the face of the internationally-recognised government and Saudi-led coalition.

Saleh on Saturday announced he was open to talks with Saudi Arabia and its allies on condition they ended their crippling blockade on Yemen's ports and airports - dealing a serious blow to his already fragile alliance with rebel chief Abdul Malik al-Houthi.

Since 2014, Sanaa has been ruled under an agreement between Saleh and the Houthis, who drove the Hadi government out of the capital, set up their own government and for two years together fought the Saudi-led coalition.

The Saleh-Houthi split has sparked fears of a new front in the Yemen war, which has already claimed more than 8,750 lives since the Saudi-led coalition joined the war to support the Hadi government.

The conflict has pushed Yemen to the brink of mass starvation and triggered what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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