Former Yemen President Flees the Capital

Former Yemen President Flees the CapitalFormer Yemen President Flees the Capital

Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi left the capital Sanaa for Aden on Saturday following weeks of house arrest imposed by Houthi militants since he submitted his resignation in January, Al-Arabiya News channel reported, citing aides close to Hadi.

Witnesses said Houthis and others in the area later ransacked Hadi's house and at least three people were seen each taking out a Kalashnikov assault rifle from the house.

He arrived to his home in the Khor Mekassar area in Aden later that day.

The aides say the rebels let Hadi go after pressure from the United Nations, the US, Russia and local political parties.

Jamal Benomar, the UN envoy to Yemen, said Friday that Yemen's warring factions, including the Houthis, have agreed on a new legislative body consisting of former and new lawmakers to serve during the country's upcoming transition period. But a coalition of Yemeni parties voiced objections to the plan, describing it as an insufficient half-solution.

Ahmed Lakaz, spokesman of the Unionist Gathering Party, which is taking part in the dialogue, said the parties told the Houthis that they would be out of the process if Hadi was not freed.

Yemen has been locked in a political crisis since Houthi forces took over the capital and eventually forced the president to resign and dissolved the parliament while keeping Hadi under house arrest.

Meanwhile Saturday, Houthis tried to storm a special forces base outside the capital, exchanging fire with troops there, most of whom are loyal to Hadi's predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The fighting killed three people, security officials said.