Yemeni rebels say chief’s brother ‘assassinated’

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Armed Yemeni men hold their weapons as they gather in the capital Sanaa to show their support to the Shiite Huthi movement against the Saudi-led intervention, on December 19, 2018. - A hard-won truce in the battleground Yemeni city of Hodeida will collapse if rebel violations persist and the United Nations does not intervene, the Saudi-led coalition said on December 19. UN observers are due in Yemen to head up monitoring teams made up of government and rebel representatives tasked with overseeing the implementation of the UN-brokered ceasefire that took effect on Tuesday. (Photo by Mohammed HUWAIS / AFP)

The brother of Yemeni rebel chief Abdelmalek al-Huthi has been “assassinated”, the insurgents’ TV channel Al Masirah reported on Friday.

“Ibrahim Badreddine Amir al-Din al-Huthi has been assassinated at the hands of traitors” working for the Saudi-led coalition, the Huthi rebels said in a statement carried by the channel.

Yemen’s internationally-recognised government is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition against the Huthis.

The rebels did not provide any further details on the alleged killing, but said they would do everything “to pursue the criminal aggressors” responsible and bring them to justice.

A Yemeni security source, who declined to be named, told AFP that Ibrahim al-Huthi was close to his brother and was the rebels’ commander for Saada, the Huthi stronghold in northern Yemen which borders Saudi Arabia.

Yemen’s war has killed tens of thousands of people, including numerous civilians, according to various humanitarian organisations.

Around 3.3 million people are displaced and 24.1 million — more than two thirds of the population — are in need of aid, according to the United Nations, which views Yemen’s humanitarian crisis as the worst in the world.