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Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Things came to a head on Monday when Saleh was killed in a roadside attack by members of the Shiite militant movement.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit meanwhile denounced Saleh's "assassination" at the hands of "criminal militias", and warned of a further escalation of the war and Yemen's humanitarian crisis.

The Saudi-led coalition battling the rebels had thrown its support behind Saleh just hours before his death, as the longtime strongman's alliance with the rebels unraveled.

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.

The Houthis seized Sanaa in September 2014, forcing the government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi to relocate to the southern city of Aden.

Few local media reports have stated Houthi rebels had gained control of the majority of the country's capital from Saleh's forces.

A video circulating on social media showed fully-veiled women chanting "The people want the martyr's body".

At least 13 other journalists and media workers are now held hostage in Yemen by armed groups, including the Houthis and al-Qaeda.

Since November 29, armed clashes sparked by forces loyal to Saleh, have continued against Houthi forces that are at the forefront of a retaliatory war against the Saudi-led military coalition.

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.

Under persistent bombing and a military blockade by the coalition, thousands of civilians in the capital of Sanaa and other Houthi-controlled areas have been killed by airstrikes, starvation and disease.

Global aid groups warned today they were losing the ability to reach civilians in Sanaa. That seems to have pushed Saleh into flirting with the coalition, ultimately leading to the breakdown of the rebel alliance.

At least 234 people have been killed and more than 400 wounded in fighting in Sanaa since the beginning of the month, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters by phone from Sanaa, he said that "at the same time, people are bracing themselves for more".


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