Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Hit on the head' operation to clean Sa'ada from rebels

By Nasser Arrabyee/12/01/2010

More than 30 Al Houthi rebels were killed and about 30 were arrested in clashes with the government troops and tribesmen loyal to the government in two different places in Sa'ada and the neighboring province of Al Jawf, military and tribal sources said Tuesday.

A group of 20 Al Houthi rebels were killed in fierce clashes with the government troops who are currently implementing what they called the final operation to rid the old city of Sa'ada from the rebels, said the sources.

10 at least of Al Houthi rebels were killed when a group of those who escaped from Sa'ada attacked the house and farm of Ali Saad Fakrah in the village of Al Mabna in Al Zaher district in Al Jawf province, according to tribal sources who participated in the fighting against the rebels.

About 12 soldiers were killed and injured in the operation which was called "the hit on the head", the independent sources said.

Some 200 hundreds of the Al Houthi rebels are still barricading in tens of houses at the northern corner of the old city despite the fact that the government troops have been surrounding them for more than one month from all directions.

Eyewitnesses said that in the operations of Sunday and Monday (the hit on the head), the rebels were escaping their stormed houses into normal houses to find protection among the civilians.

The security sources said they would declare the old city as a rebel-free city after this final operation.

Al Houthi rebels, on their turn, said the army wants only to destroy the historical city of Sa'ada claiming that they hunt down sleep cells.

"The army uses tractors to destroy the antiquarian houses and mosques of city of Sa'ada to take revenge on its people," said the rebels in a statement sent through emails.

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