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Gunman assassinates leader of Yemen's Al-Islah party

Yemen's Congregation for Reform, known as Al-Islah party, yesterday said one of its leaders was assassinated in the country's southern province of Al-Dhale.

Local sources told the party-owned Al-Sahwa that the head of the "local branch of Al-Islah party in Al-Azariq district, Ahmed Bin Ahmed Ali, was killed tonight in the village of Mutha'dah in Al-Dhale."

The sources added that Ali was shot dead by a "gunman, identified as Abdullah Al-Shaiba, after the Maghrib prayer in Al-Azariq."

Ali is the fourth party leader to be assassinated in recent weeks.

Yemen has been mired in violence since the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed government from the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014, prompting a Saudi-led coalition to intervene a few months later. The country had witnessed a lull in military action after Saudi Arabia and the Houthis began back-channel talks late last year. But a recent spike in violence threatens fragile peace.

The conflict, largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and regional arch-foe Iran, has killed more than 100,000 people since the alliance intervened in Yemen in March 2015, and has left 80 per cent of Yemen's population reliant on aid.

The war was also said to have unleashed an urgent humanitarian crisis that has pushed millions to the verge of famine, forced millions more to seek shelter in displacement camps and sparked outbreaks of cholera and diphtheria. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.

READ: Millions in Yemen could lose telecoms access in Houthi areas

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