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Houthi interior minister dies in Lebanese hospital

Houthi Interior minister Abdul Hakim al-Maori

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 Shiite 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.