Identity of Saleh, Zouka’s killer revealed as new details emerge

Houthi followers attend a rally to celebrate the killing of Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, in December last year. — Reuters

SOURCES that are well-informed about the murder of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Aref Al-Zouka in Sanaa in December 2017 said they were killed by a mediator named Abu Al-Karar Al-Washli, the website Al-Mashhad Al-Yemeni reported.

“The Houthi official who shot Saleh and Zouka with a Russian gun is named Abu Al-Karar Al-Washli and he was one of the mediators between Saleh and the Houthis at the time,” the sources said.

“They were murdered using a Russian gun from a distance of 100 meters away from Saleh’s residence in Al-Kumaim while (Saleh’s) car was leaving along with car which the mediator, the Houthi official, was in, and the latter opened fire after receiving a phone call from Houthi spokesperson Mohamed Abdel Salam,” the sources also said.

According to the sources, showing photos of a dead Saleh in Sanhan was in compliance with the commands of Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi to intimidate the people of Sanhan and his tribe

General People›s Congress official Yasser Al-Yamaneen had told the Russian Sputnik news agency that the Houthis killed Saleh and Zouka near (Saleh’s) house in Al-Kumaim after General People›s Congress officials betrayed him and denied the Houthis’ story that Saleh was killed in Sanhan.

On April 23, 2011, facing massive nationwide protests, Saleh agreed to step down under a 30-day transition plan in which he would receive immunity from criminal prosecution. Under the deal, he was to hand over power over to Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi.

On May 18, 2011, he agreed to sign a deal with opposition groups, stipulating that he would resign within a month; but a week later, Saleh refused to sign the agreement, leading to renewed protests and the withdrawal of the Gulf Cooperation Council from mediation efforts in Yemen.

On June 3, Saleh was injured in a bomb attack on his presidential compound. Multiple C-4 (explosive) charges were planted inside the mosque and one exploded when the president and major members of his government were praying.

— Al Arabiya English

The explosion killed four bodyguards and injured the prime minister, deputy prime ministers, head of the parliament, governor of Sanaa and many more. Saleh suffered burns and shrapnel injuries, but survived, a result that was confirmed by an audio message he sent to state media in which he condemned the attack, but his voice clearly revealed that he was having difficulty in speaking. Government officials tried to downplay the attack by saying he was lightly wounded.