By Nasser Arrabyee/09/12/2009
More than 20 Al Houthi rebels surrendered in the old city of Sa'ada where the army is still blockading the remaining rebels in some houses of the city, for the third consecutive day, said local sources Wednesday.
The army had stormed the city early Monday to target, about 400 Al Houthi rebels who have been barricading in houses and mosques of two neighborhoods of the antiquarian city.
At least 15 rebels were killed, 20 injured and 30 surrendered in the first day.
Al Houthi rebels denied that they had any fighters in the old city of Sa'ada.
"It was only unjust aggression to destroy the antiquarian houses and mosques of the city after more than three months of blockade against the citizens," said Al Houthi in a statement sent through emails Wednesday.
In the same statement, Al Houthi said the 'citizens' of the old city of Sa'ada repelled 'with the help of Allah' a big attack by the army against the city from four directions.
The army is almost controlling the two neighborhoods of Najran and Al Toot, where Al Houthi fighters positioned, but some of them still resist from some houses until today, said military sources participating in the cleaning operation Wednesday.
A workshop in the old city for making explosives and mines for the rebels was destroyed Tuesday, said the sources.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the government Hassan Al Lawzi said the army was advancing against the rebels and the end of the war has become very imminent.
He told reporters that the recent arrests and surrenders of the rebel leaders have revealed very important information that will help to end the war.
The Ministry of Defense said Wednesday in a statement that seven rebels including three field leaders were killed in Al Malahaid. The dead field leaders were identified as Abdu Yahya Yousef Al Arashi, Ahmed Dhaif Allah Jabal, and Ahmed Mused Al Madaka.
Two rebels, identified only by their surnames as Al Awadi and Al Hamzi, were arrested nearby Al Mazrak camp for refugees far west of Sa'ada, said the Ministry of Interior Wednesday.