World Saudi air strikes in Yemen target house of ex-president Saleh

Saudi air strikes in Yemen target house of ex-president Saleh

Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh
Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh

Saudi-led forces conducted air raids at dawn on Sunday in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, targeting former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s house, sources in his political party and residents said.

Three loud explosions were heard and plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area where Saleh’s residence is located in the capital.

Saleh and his family were safe and “well” after the air strikes, said Khabar, a news agency allied to the former Yemeni president said.

Saudi Arabia had in the past few days intensified its air strikes against the main Shia rebel stronghold in Yemen, with warplanes carrying out more than dozens of attacks.

The renewed bombing has thrown into question a proposed five-day ceasefire announced on Thursday by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, to let humanitarian aid reach millions of civilians caught up in the conflict, which has killed more than 1,400 people since the Saudi-led campaign started on 26 March.

The Saudi-led military coalition said the latest air strikes in the northern province of Saada — the stronghold of rebels known as Houthis — were in response to cross-border attacks by the rebels targeting Saudi Arabian cities near the frontier.

Saudi air strikes have been pummelling Saada for more than a month since the start of a campaign against the rebels, who are allied with forces loyal to the ousted former president Saleh.

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