Rebel minister who fled Yemen hit by shoe at news conference

November 11, 2018 GMT

CAIRO (AP) — A minister who served in Yemen’s rebel government before defecting to Saudi Arabia was struck by a shoe hurled by a Yemeni journalist at a news conference in Riyadh.

Abdul-Salam Ali Gaber, who served as information minister, is the most senior member of the Houthi administration to defect since civil war broke out in 2014. He made his first public appearance during Sunday’s news conference.

Throwing a shoe is a show of deep contempt in Arab culture. An Iraqi journalist famously threw both his shoes at President George W. Bush at a 2008 news conference in Baghdad, narrowly missing him.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been at war with a Saudi-led coalition since 2015. The rebels control the capital, Sanaa, and much of northern Yemen.