Thursday, 24 September 2009

Some 93 Al Houthi rebels arrested

By Nasser Arrabyee/24/09/2009

A total of 93 Al Houthi rebels were arrested inside the city of Sa'ada where asleep cells occasionally clash with security over the last 44 days, said senior security official Thursday.

Two of them were arrested today Thursday, and 12 surrendered themselves yesterday Wednesday, said Mohammed Abdullah Al Kawsi, Deputy Minister of Interior, who is supervising special security operations to confront hidden groups of the Al Houthi rebels inside the old city of Sa'ada.

The whole city of Sa'ada is under the control of the local authority, but the rebels have been trying to put it under their control since the war erupted early last month.

Local sources confirmed that fierce fighting continued Thursday in the three main frontlines: Harf Sufyan, around Sa'ada city, and Al Malahaid.

A fourth frontline started to heat up over the last few days in Bakem areas, far north of Sa'ada city where tribal volunteers loyal to the government try to blockade the strongholds of the rebels in Mutrah, and Dhahyan from the north.

Dozens from both sides were killed and injured in battles, which took place Thursday about 10 km around the city of Sa'ada where the rebels still try to attack from three directions at least despite hundreds of them were killed so far in these places. The rebels destroyed Thursday an armored vehicle belonging to the army in Mahtha area around the city of Sa'ada, said local sources.

Independent and military sources said more than 20 Al Houthi rebels and four soldiers were killed Thursday in confrontations in the frontline of Harf Sufyan where the troops advance slowly towards Sa'ada city.

The rebels still position in mountains overlooking about 40 km long road between Sa'ada city and Shakra and Wadi Shahwan, the two latest posts controlled by the troops in Harf Sufyan front, in the south of Sa'ada city.

More than 14 rebels and 10 tribesmen were killed over the last 24 hours in heavy confrontations between government-supported tribesmen and Al Houthi rebels in Dammaj area about 15 km east of the city of Sa'ada. Dammaj is the location of a well-known extremist Sunni Salafi school, with thousands of students, which was founded early 1980s. Dammaj Salafi centre was one of the main reasons to establish the movement of Al Houthi who accuse the Salafis of fighting his Zaidi Shiite thoughts.

The military sources said that the troops controlled two new posts in Al Manzalah in the frontline of Al Malahaid in the far west of the city of Sa'ada.

Humanitarian situation

Human activists appealed the government of Yemen and Saudi Arabia to help hundreds of displaced people who are stranded in Al Mashnak area between the Saudi Arabia borders and confrontations of Al Manzalah frontline.

"I appeal the government of Yemen and the government of Saudi Arabia to solve the problem those people who can not enter Saudi Arabia and can not come here to Al Mazrak refugee camp," said the human right activist, Mahmoud Taha who came back from the refugee camp, far west of Sa'ada.

"The war is behind them and Saudi Arabia is in front of them, they stranded, they may die of hunger and thirst if they are not helped."

On his part, the governor of Sa'ada Hassan Mana'a accused Thursday Al Houthi rebels of fire artillery on the refugee camp of Al Azkol, about 15 km west of the city of Sa'ada.

Earlier in the day, the rebel leader Abdul Malik Al Houthi said the real war has not started yet, threatening to launch a war, which goes beyond the imagination of the government.

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