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Top Saleh loyalist commander dies of wounds in Yemen’s Sana’a

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows Tarek Saleh, the top commander of forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemeni sources have indicated that the top commander of forces loyal to slain president Ali Abdullah Saleh has died of injuries he suffered during clashes this week with fighters of Houthi Ansarullah movement in the capital Sana’a.

Yemen’s General People's Congress party announced Tuesday that Tarek Saleh died of wounds suffered during clashes over control of Sana’a.

A statement from the party said the commander had sustained wounds to his liver and died in a hospital. It did not give more details. His residence was a first target of Houthi fighters when clashes broke out in Sana’a on Wednesday.

A nephew of the former president, Tarek was a key figure in Saleh’s efforts to push back the Houthi fighters from Sana’a and restore ties with Saudi Arabia.

Saleh himself was killed Monday after Houthis said his convoy was targeted somewhere south of the capital and the former president was shot dead. His death came days after he broke alliance with the Houthis and said he wanted to open a new chapter in relations with Saudi Arabia. That had angered the Houthis as Saudis have bombed the Arabian Peninsula nation for over two years.

More than 13,000 people have been killed in the devastating campaign which began in March 2015 allegedly to restore power in Yemen to an ousted president. The United Nation says the conflict in Yemen has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis as a Saudi-led blockade has exposed millions to malnutrition and endemic diseases.

The UN had expressed worries about the recent escalation of violence in Sana’a, saying dozens had been killed and hundreds, including civilians, had been injured in the clashes between Houthi and Saleh forces.

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