Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed

President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Show Grid

Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh officially broke with his Houthi militia allies, calling on his supporters to rise up against them across the country.

"The Interior Ministry announces the end of the crisis of militias and the killing of their leader and a number of his criminal supporters", an anchor said on the rebels' Al-Masirah television, referring to armed supporters of Saleh.

A video circulating online purported to show Saleh's body, his eyes open but glassy, motionless with a gaping head wound, as he was being carried in a blanket by rebel fighters.

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.

Three years after joining forces to drive out the internationally recognized government in Yemen, the alliance between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh has collapsed.

The Huthis stopped the four-car convoy about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Sanaa and shot dead Saleh, GPC secretary general Arif al-Zouka and his deputy Yasir al-Awadi, a military source said.

Residents in the capital of Sanaa mired in the humanitarian catastrophe said that they had witnessed the explosion at Saleh's home.

Saleh's supporters managed on Saturday to seize control of several embassies and government buildings from the Houthis.

Earlier on Monday, Al Arabia reported violent clashes on the southern outskirts of the Yemeni capital, where the former president's house is located.

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

Yemen has since been rocked by rebel infighting.

The forces of the former Yemeni president regained control over the cities and areas under the control of the Houthis.

He was forced to resign after months of protests against him during an Arab Spring uprising in 2011. He remained in the country, however, and continued to wield power from behind the scenes.

He told Yemenis all across the country that if they support him, "to defend the nation, the republic and the revolution".

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