Recent clashes in Yemen capital killed at least 234: ICRC

Houthi followers rally to celebrate the killing of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa

Saleh loyalists accused the Houthi fighters of raiding their bases across Sana'a and beyond, an allegation that the Houthi leader has strongly denied.

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari on Tuesday as saying that Saudi Arabia, "on behalf of the USA and the Zionist regime (Israel), has a very important role in creating insecurity" in the Middle East.

In a televised speech, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi called on Yemenis to rise up against the Iran-aligned Houthis.

The extent of Iranian support to the Houthis has been debated, but the US and Britain have assisted the Saudi-led coalition with intelligence and refueling support for its airstrikes.

The assault and hostage-taking comes amid heightened tensions after forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh severed ties with the Houthis, sparking days of gun battles and artillery fire in the capital.

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.

The coalition bombed Saleh's residence and other houses of his family members, Yemen's pro-Houthi al-Masirah television station said.

Russian Federation to list United States media as 'foreign agents'
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Saleh's vehicle was struck by an RPG fire on Monday and he was later shot to death, raising questions about what happens next in the almost three-year war that has killed at least 10 000 people.

But with Saleh's forces seemingly in disarray, it was not immediately clear if the Saudi-led coalition would be able to turn the split to its advantage.

Saleh's slaying likely gives the rebels the upper hand in the dayslong fighting for the country's capital, Sanaa.

The bloody conflict has left impoverished Yemen as the world's leading humanitarian disasters with millions of people facing starvation. They briefly lost control of much of the city in the recent fighting with Saleh supporters before making a dramatic comeback.

A least 234 people were killed in fighting that the International Committee of the Red Cross described as the fiercest since the start of the conflict. That seems to have pushed Saleh into flirting with the coalition, ultimately leading to the breakdown of the rebel alliance.

Jamie McGoldrick of United Nations aid agency OCHA says civilians in Sanaa are "emerging from their houses after five days being locked down, basically prisoners", to seek safety, medical care, fresh water and other survival needs. Speaking to reporters by phone from Sanaa, he said that "at the same time, people are bracing themselves for more".

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