Source: Xinhua, by Aqeel al-Halali, Wang Qiuyun
SANAA-Fears of possible outbreak of sectarian war between Sunnis and the Shiite rebels in northern Yemen raised after al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula (AQAP) claimed on Friday that it killed the spiritual leader of northern Shiite rebels, Bader al-Deen al-Houthi in a car bombing attack on Nov. 24.
In two separate statements posted on Jihadist forums, the Sunni- devoted AQAP claimed responsibility for the twin suicide car bombing attacks against convoys of the Shiite rebels' followers in northern provinces of Al-Jouf and Saada on Nov. 24 and Nov. 26.
"After we made sure that Bader al-Deen al-Houthi, was confirmed killed in the car bombing attack on Nov. 24, the leadership of AQAP issued an order to prepare another car bombing to intercept the funeral ceremony of this top Shiite leader, which took place three days later on Nov. 26," AQAP said.
"We have formed special units to defend our Sunni brothers, " the terrorist group said in the statement.
In the statement, the AQAP also called on youths of Sunni tribes to join its units and camps to defend themselves and Sunni tribes in northern Yemen, saying that "those operations were the first of a series of future attacks being prepared against the Houthi Shiite rebels."
The attacks against the Shiite rebels, the first of their kind launched by al-Qaida group, which was widely known to be mainly active only in Yemen's southern and eastern provinces, prompted organizations and human rights groups to warn that the northern region is about to break out the Iraqi-style sectarian conflict.