Sunday, 11 October 2009

Al Houthi rebels kill two displaced people, UN calls for quicker assistance

By Nasser Arrabyee/11/10/2009

Five Al Houthi rebels and two displaced people were killed when Al Houthi rebesl attacked a refugee camp under construction in Khaiwan area where troops position in the neighboring mountains, sources from the camp said Sunday.

The rebels wanted to attack the troops in AlJabal AlAswad, which overlooks the town of Harf Sufyan from behind and through the place where the new camp is being established, the sources said.

Al Houthi rebel clashed only with tribesmen supported by the government, in the battles, which continued until late Sunday before the troops interfered to support the tribesmen against the rebels, the sources said.

The rebels' assault on the refugee camp coincided with the visit of the UN undersecretary for humanitarian affairs John Holmes to Yemen where he visited the refugee camps of Al Mazrak, west of Sa'ada.

Holmes said the process of raising the estimated 24 million US dollars needed to help about 150,000 displaced people over the coming four months, is very slow.

In a press conference at the end of his 3-day visit on Sunday Holmes said only about 10 million US dollars were pledged by the donors like US, UK, Saudi Arabia, and Germany until today.

For military developments, more than 37 rebels were killed in the wide attack, which the troops launched on the rebels in the western areas around the Sa'ada city, military sources said Sunday.

The same sources, however, said the troops did not make any progress in the ground. About 10 soldiers were killed and injured by friendly artillery pounding, the sources added.

"About 10 soldiers were killed and injured when our artillery mistakenly pounded on a group of soldiers from the new units which just came as enforcements," the sources said.

A high-ranking officer was killed in clashes with the rebels east of Harf Sufyan where two rebels were killed and four others injured and detained, said sources in Harf Sufyan frontline Sunday.

These developments came after the government welcomed a call by the rebels' leader Abdul Malik Al Houthi for dialogue. The government the road to dialogue is only abiding by the five conditions it set at the beginning of the war on August 10th. The five conditions include mainly the rebels' going down from the mountains and handing over the weapons.

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