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Ex-Yemen president’s nephew ‘also killed’

Houthi rebel supporters celebrated the death of former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh
Image: Houthi rebel supporters celebrated the death of former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh

The nephew of Yemen’s former president died in the same attack in which his uncle was killed at the weekend, it has emerged.

Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, a senior military commander for the Yemen government, died of wounds suffered during the attack by the Houthi rebel group in the country’s capital, Sanaa, the General People’s Congress party said.

Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, his uncle, died in the attack as he was allegedly attempting to flee the country, it was reported on Monday.

:: Yemen: The civil war and humanitarian crisis explained

Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh (2nd from left) was killed in the attack on his uncle, former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh's armoured vehicle
Image: Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh (second from left) was killed in the attack

Ali Abdullah Saleh led the country for more than three decades, until the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 when he switched allegiance to the Houthi rebels side.

He had announced the end of his alliance with the Iran-backed Houthis on Saturday, which sparked warnings of retribution.

Mr Saleh and his nephew were travelling in an armoured vehicle when rebel fighters reportedly stopped it with an RPG rocket and shot the leader dead.

Ali Abdullah Saleh ruled from 1990 to 2012
Image: Ali Abdullah Saleh ruled from 1990 to 2012

The former president’s son called for revenge against the armed Houthi movement on Tuesday, hours before his cousin’s death was also revealed and just before his father’s funeral was to take place.

Ahmed Ali Saleh, who is in exile in the United Arab Emirates, was quoted by Saudi-owned al-Ekhbariya TV as saying: “I will lead the battle until the last Houthi is thrown out of Yemen.

“The blood of my father will be hell ringing in the ears of Iran.”

He called for his father’s supporters to “take back Yemen from the Iranian Houthi militias”.

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Hundreds of Houthi supporters took to the streets of rebel-held Sanaa on Monday and Tuesday to celebrate the killing of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemenis, many who have been on lock down in their homes for five days, are now waiting to see what happens next in the fragile Arabian Peninsula state.

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    Heinz-Christian Strache
    Image: The FPO’s Heinz-Christian Strache is tipped to be deputy chancellor

    Austria is set to become the only western European country with a far-right party in government.

    The head of the conservative People’s Party (OVP), Sebastian Kurz, has struck a coalition deal with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO).

    The FPO will take charge of the foreign, interior and defence ministries, among others, while its leader, 48-year-old Heinz-Christian Strache, will be deputy chancellor.

    Mr Kurz, 31, will be the youngest leader in Europe. His OVP will run ministries including finance and justice.

    When the OVP won Austria’s election on 15 October it did so with a hard line on immigration – a policy which often overlapped with that of the FPO.

    The FPO was third, taking 26% of the vote.

    “Nobody has anything to fear,” said the FPO’s secretary general and Austria’s next interior minister, Herbert Kickl.

    Sebastian Kurz
    Image: Sebastian Kurz says he wants to increase security and combat illegal immigraton

    Mr Kurz held a joint news conference with Mr Strache and told reporters: “Our aims are quite clear.

    “We want to ease the tax burden for people, we want to strengthen our economy, which will bolster our social system.”

    Mr Kurz, known as ‘wunderwuzzi’ or ‘whizz-kid’, added: “And first and foremost we want to increase security in our country, including by combating illegal immigration.”

    While Mr Kurz has said his administration will be pro-European, both he and Mr Strache have expressed doubts about further social integration.

    Sebastian Kurz
    Image: Mr Kurz, 31, is Europe’s youngest leader

    The two men presented their agreement to Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, a former Greens leader who narrowly beat the FPO in a presidential vote in 2015.

    Mr Van der Bellen, who has the right to reject ministers, has said a new government could be sworn in early next week if everything went to plan.

    Following their meeting, Mr Van der Bellen said they had agreed it was in Austria’s “national interest” to remain at the “centre of a strong European Union”.

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    The FPO’s success mirrors that of similar parties across Europe. Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party is now the second-largest in the Netherlands, the Front National in France was involved in a run-off for the presidency in May and representatives from Germany’s AfD have entered the Bundestag.

    When the FPO was last in government, under the late Joerg Haider, other EU countries imposed sanctions on Vienna in protest.

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