Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Yemen welcomes calls for cease-fire, fighting continues

Yemen welcomes calls for cease-fire, fighting continues

By Nasser Arrabyee/23/09/2009

The Yemeni government welcomed Wednesday external calls for cease-fire to deliver assistance to the displaced people because of the going war between its troops and Al Houthi rebels in the north of the country.

The step came after calls from relief agencies who warned of a humanitarian crisis if an immediate cease-fire is not reached.

The US Department of Sate also called Wednesday for immediate cease-fire to enable the relief agencies to help tens of thousands of displaced people. It said about 3 million US dollars will be sent to help the displaced people. Earlier in the month, the UN said it needs about 24 million US dollars to help about 150,000 displaced persons over the coming four months.

The government blamed the rebels for breaking the cease-fire it announced last Saturday by attacking the troops in the three main frontline and other places.

"The terrorists, and rebels continued breaking the cease-fire despite the fact that the government is still committing to the cease-fire decision which was announced last Saturday," said the government statement.

"The troops now are only repelling the attacks being launched by the rebels and terrorists who broke the cease-fire in Sa'ada city, Harf Sufyan, Al Malahaid, Bakem, and Damajj."

"The government is doing all its best to facilitate the movement of the aid agencies to help the displaced people, but the rebels are still planting mines in the roads to obstruct the aid efforts, to exploit the humanitarian issue."

Meanwhile, local sources confirmed that fierce battles continued Wednesday in the three main fronts of Sa'ada, Harf Sufyan, and Al Malahaid.

More than 15 Al Houthi rebels were killed when they launched an attack on the Salafi School in Dammaj killing six Salafis, local sources said.

The clashes between the extremist Sunni Salafis and Al Houthi Shiite rebels, continued until late Wednesday, the sources confirmed

The Ministry of Interior said Wednesday that 12 Al Houthi rebels surrendered themselves in the city of Sa'ada.

The Ministry also said that the Deputy Minister of Interior Mohammed Abdullah Al Kawsi survived an assassination attempt carried out by Al Houthi rebels inside the city of Sa'ada.

Al Kawsi has been supervising special security operations inside the old city of Sa'ada where some residents who fight with Al Houthi, used their houses as barracks from the beginning of the war early last August.

The assassination attempt against Al Kawsi came after the blockaded Al Houthi supporters in the old city of Sa'ada, pretended they would surrender themselves to Al Kawsi. They were only planning to kill him.

Over the last two days, the army allegedly killed about 230 rebels, in fierce battles, which indicated the progress of the troops.

For the first time, the state-run TV showed Wednesday the troops advancing in Harf Sufyan and controlling the important positions of Al Shakra and Shahwan with tens of Al Houthi dead bodies thrown on the ground.

Al Houthi side played down the alleged victories of the government troops saying the army is breaking down before his fighters.

"The government tries to make illusive victories to cover up the troops' breakdown which broke its pride and solemnity," said Al Houthi statement, which was sent through emails.

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