Top Houthi political leader killed in Saudi coalition air strike


Yemen's Houthi rebels state their acting head of nation was murdered in an air strike by the coalition.

Yemen's official Saba news agency, citing a statement released by the Supreme Political Council on Monday, reported that the top political figure of the Houthi Ansarullah movement lost his life after Saudi jets bombarded his residence in the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah on Thursday.

Mahdi al-Mashat has succeeded him.

There was no immediate comment by the Saudi-led coalition.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

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"This crime won't go unanswered", said the Huthis' overall leader, Abdul Malek al-Huthi, adding that six other people were killed in the same raid.

It was the third deadly airstrike in Yemen since the weekend.

The Yemen war began in early 2015, when Houthi rebels drove the US-backed government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

The death of Samad, the group's Ansarullah political council chief, dealt a big blow to the Houthis in a three-year-old war that has killed more than 10,000 people and unleashed the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis.

Yemeni health officials say an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in the country's north hit a wedding party, killing at least 15 people the previous day.

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The civilians were mostly women and children, who were in a tent set up for the wedding party.

After the wedding strike, which took place late Sunday, the groom and 45 of the wounded were brought to the al-Jomhouri hospital, said the facility's manager, Mohammed al-Sawmali. Guterres called for a prompt, effective and transparent investigation into such attacks and urged the rival parties in Yemen to comply with global humanitarian law to protect civilians.

The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under global humanitarian law concerning the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure during armed conflicts. Airstrikes have hit weddings, busy markets, hospitals, and schools.

Samad was number two on the Saudi-led coalition's most-wanted list and the alliance had offered $20 million for any information that would lead to his capture. Many Yemenis also criticize the United States and other Western nations for selling billions of dollars of weapons to the Saudis and Emiratis, much of which is used in Yemen.

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