Yemen’s Hadi flees to Aden and says he is still president

A man looks through a barricade around the house of Yemen’s former president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Sanaa February 21, 2015. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

(Reuters) – Yemen’s ousted president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi appeared to rescind his resignation and attempt to reclaim his position in a statement on Saturday after escaping house arrest by the Houthi militia in the capital Sanaa and fleeing to Aden.

The statement, signed “president of the republic of Yemen” and read out on al-Jazeera news channel, was his first public comment since he resigned last month when the Houthis overran his private residence and the presidential palace.

The move throws down the gauntlet to the Shi’ite Muslim Houthis, whose capture of Sanaa on September 21 made them the country’s dominant power brokers and effective rulers, but who have clashed with opponents in other parts of the country.

Earlier on Saturday Houthi fighters shot dead a protester and wounded another in the city of Ibb demonstrating against the group’s takeover, activists told Reuters.

Describing the Houthi takeover of Sanaa as a “coup”, Hadi said all moves made since then, a period in which the Houthis forced him to accept a power sharing agreement and later dissolved the parliament and set up a new ruling council, were illegitimate…

Related: Yemen’s ousted president Hadi calls for Houthis to quit capital