Middle East
Speaker of Yemeni parliament dies
Al-Ahmar is said to have died from cancer in a hospital in Riyadh.
Last Modified: 30 Dec 2007 04:13 GMT
Al-Ahmar had held the position of the Yemeni parliament's speaker since 1993 [File, AFP]

Yemen is holding three days of mourning after the speaker of the country's parliament died in Saudi Arabia.
The official Saba news agency reported on Saturday that Sheikh Abdullah bin Hussein al-Ahmar had died in a hospital in Riyadh after six months' of treatment for cancer.
Al-Ahmar was head of the opposition Islah (Reform) party.

Al-Ahmar was also head of the powerful Hashed tribal confederation and has played a key role in the politics of the Arab country for almost 50 years.


It was not clear who would succeed him as head of the Yemeni parliament, a position he had held since 1993.

Because of illness, al-Ahmar had been unable to perform his role as speaker for more than a year. He spent much of his time in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment.


Born in 1933, he had been an instrumental figure among the leaders who brought down the monarchy in 1962.


Al-Ahmar took part in elections through his Islah party, which combines tribal and Islamic elements, following the unification of northern Yemen with the communist south of the country in 1990 after years of conflict. 

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