April 22, 2019 / 8:13 PM / 6 months ago

Yemen's Houthi interior minister dies in Lebanese hospital

DUBAI (Reuters) - A minister in the administration of the Houthi-run area of Yemen died in a Lebanese hospital on Saturday, a Lebanese official told Reuters on Monday, confirming earlier Houthi media reports about the death.

Interior minister Abdul Hakim al-Maori died at the age of 60 while receiving treatment for a chronic disease in a Lebanese hospital, Houthi-run Masirah TV said on Saturday.

The Lebanese official confirmed al-Maori had come to Lebanon for treatment before he died, without giving further details. It is not known in which hospital he died.

Lebanon is the home of the Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement also receives support from Iran.

Yemen’s war is widely seen as part of the regional struggle for influence between Iran and Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia.

The four-year war pits the Houthis against the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition of Yemeni and Arab forces including the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi has said that Hezbollah members are fighting for the Houthis in Yemen, but Hezbollah denies this.

Reporting by Laila Bassam in Beirut; Writing by Lisa Barrington in Dubai; Editing by Jan Harvey

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