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

Yemen Brings US, Iran Closer to Naval Face-off

US sending two more ships to waters off coast of Yemen to take part in 'maritime security operations' More

Minorities Become Majority Across US

From 2000 to 2013, minorities became the majority in 78 counties in the United States. Here's where those demographic shifts are happening More

Japan's Maglev Train Breaks Own Speed Record

Seven-car 'magnetic levitation' train traveled at more than 600 kilometers per hour during test run Tuesday More

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.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs