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Disappeared nephew of Yemen's slain leader Saleh resurfaces in the south Open in fullscreen

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Disappeared nephew of Yemen's slain leader Saleh resurfaces in the south

The war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than three million [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 January, 2018

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The Houthi rebels have been searching for Tareq Saleh for weeks, storming scores of homes in Sanaa to find him.
The nephew of Yemen's late President Ali Abdullah Saleh surfaced on Thursday in the country's south, weeks after he disappeared after the death of Saleh at the hands of his onetime allies, the Houthi rebels.

Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh disappeared from Yemen’s capital city Sanaa following intense fighting between forces loyal to the ousted president and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

The younger Saleh, who led the fight against Houthis alongside his late uncle, commanded Presidential Guard forces up until late 2011, when Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down under pressure from a popular uprising.

Saleh's forces and the Houthis joined ranks in 2014, sweeping the capital and northern Yemen and forced the internationally recognised government of AbdRabbo Mansour Hadi to flee. Months later, a Saudi-led coalition backed Hadi's government and waged an all-out campaign against the Houthis and Saleh's forces.

The Houthi-Saleh alliance was an uneasy one, as the Houthis maintained the upper hand in ruling northern Yemen. When the alliance unravelled last month, fighting raged and in less than a week the Houthis claimed that they had killed Saleh as he tried to flee the capital. Witnesses, however, said that Saleh was killed in his home in Sanaa along with top aides.

The Houthis have since carried out raids and detained members of Saleh's family, political party, tribe and forces.

They have reportedly been searching for Tareq Saleh for weeks, storming scores of homes in Sanaa to find him. According to officials, he appeared in the southern province of Shabwa where he was visiting the family of Aref al-Zoqa, the slain secretary-general of the People General Congress, Yemen's ruling party, who was killed alongside Saleh last month.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorised to speak to the press.

The Saudi-led coalition, which is allied with an internationally recognised government, has been at war with the Houthi rebels since March 2015. 

The Houthis control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

It was not immediately clear if those killed included combatants. 

The coalition, which says it takes all precautions to minimise civilian casualties, could not be reached for comment.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than three million.

The fighting has caused a humanitarian catastrophe which the UN says is the world's worst, pushing seven million people to the brink of famine and sparking a cholera outbreak that the World Health Organisation says has killed 2,000 people.

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