News / Middle East

    Car Blast Kills 17 Shi'ites in Northern Yemen

    A suicide carbomber blew himself up alongside a religious procession in northern Yemen. At least 17 were killed and 15 wounded in the blast which observers say could unravel a fragile truce between rebels and the Yemeni government signed in February.

    The bomber struck worshippers on one of the most sacred holidays of the year to Yemeni Shi'ites. The blast wreaked havoc during the celebration of al Ghadeer, wounding several in an already volatile northern Yemen.

    A spokesman for the area's Huthi rebels said his group was targeted in the attack, in al-Jawf province.

    The attack on the Shi'ite Houthi procession in the Jawf province could undermine the fragile ten-month old truce between the government and rebels loyal to Abdel Malek al Houthi. Several top Houthi leaders were reportedly killed in the blast.

    Yemen's weak central government faces rebels in the north and south as well as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

    Tensions have been rising in northern Yemen in recent days, with reports of scattered clashes, as well as bloodshed.

    Jamal al Najjar of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees says that a number of people have been killed and still others have fled since fighting began on November 13th.

    "On the 13th of November, clashes erupted between pro-government tribes and Houthi followers in Kadebar and Munabah districts [along] the border with Saudi Arabia. Fighting stopped during the Eid [al Adha] holiday after tribal mediation, but then it resumed on the 20th of November. More than 20 people were killed and a number of people were displaced to Saudi Arabia."

    Greg Johnsen, a Yemen scholar at Princeton University, says that it is too early to tell if al Qaida is actually responsible for Wednesday's attack, but that sectarian strife appears to be growing intense in northern Yemen:

    "There have been previous bombs that have [gone] off up in the north in Saada and al Jawf in the region where the Houthis are most active, in previous years, that looked very much like al Qaida and in the end turned out not to be an al Qaida attack. That being said, there has been a great deal of back-and-forth between the Houthis and al Qaida, almost shades of what we saw coming out of Iraq in some of the Shia-Sunni clashes at the height of the war. So, I think if this does turn out to be al Qaida and if the Houthis retaliate, then it could be a very, very dangerous situation."

    Johnsen also argues that a fresh conflict could erupt in the long series of wars between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels, which have been going on since 2004:

    "Any clashes like this, if it does turn out that al Qaida was behind it, [suggests] that the government would be drawn in, just given all the different linkages. There are so many different individuals, whether it be through tribal connections, whose relatives are employed by the state, or military officials that got killed who also happen to be part of a particular tribe. I just don't see this as a two-sided clash between al Qaida and the Houthis….I think the government would be involved, probably against its better wishes."

    A cease-fire was reached last February between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels after intense mediation by the Emir of Qatar. Six wars between the government and the rebels have ended in a stalemate, causing the displacement of close to 300,000 people.

    NEW: Follow our Middle East stories on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora