News / Middle East

Shi'ite Rebels Press Attack on North Yemen Town

An image of al-Houthi Hussein Badr Eddin al-Huthi, the late founder of Yemen's al-Houthi Shi'ite group, is seen on a vehicle as his follower jumps from it while carrying a weapon to secure a road in the northwestern province of Saada, June 4, 2013.An image of al-Houthi Hussein Badr Eddin al-Huthi, the late founder of Yemen's al-Houthi Shi'ite group, is seen on a vehicle as his follower jumps from it while carrying a weapon to secure a road in the northwestern province of Saada, June 4, 2013.
x
An image of al-Houthi Hussein Badr Eddin al-Huthi, the late founder of Yemen's al-Houthi Shi'ite group, is seen on a vehicle as his follower jumps from it while carrying a weapon to secure a road in the northwestern province of Saada, June 4, 2013.
An image of al-Houthi Hussein Badr Eddin al-Huthi, the late founder of Yemen's al-Houthi Shi'ite group, is seen on a vehicle as his follower jumps from it while carrying a weapon to secure a road in the northwestern province of Saada, June 4, 2013.

Location

Reuters
Shi'ite Muslim Houthi rebels pressed their offensive on Saturday against a town in north Yemen held by their Sunni Muslim Salafi rivals, a Salafi spokesman said, bringing the total death toll in four days of sectarian clashes to 55.
    
Spokesman Serour al-Wadei denied a statement on the Yemeni defense ministry website saying that the fighting in the town of Damaj had ended on Friday afternoon and that the Yemeni army had taken up positions in the troubled area.
    
The spokesman for the puritanical Sunni Muslim group told Reuters the Houthis, using rockets and tank shells, had killed 15 more Salafis and wounded at least 30 in their latest attack on Damaj, which lies in the mountainous Saada province that has long been outside Yemeni central government control.
    
Houthi officials could not be reached for comment. There was no independent account of Saturday's clashes and no immediate report of any Houthi casualties.
    
Saada is the base for a long-running Houthi rebellion against the Sanaa government. Saudi Arabia's military intervened in 2009 before a ceasefire took hold the year after. The province has since fallen openly into Houthi hands with a Houthi-imposed governor.
    
The latest fighting erupted on Wednesday despite government mediation efforts to salvage a ceasefire in place for a year.
    
A Houthi statement on Wednesday accused the Salafis of igniting strife by bringing thousands of foreign fighters to Damaj. The Salafis say the foreigners are students there to study Islamic theology in a seminary built in the 1980s.
    
The Salafis say Damaj, which is near the Houthi-controlled city of Saada near the Saudi border, has been under rebel siege for weeks and say their rockets have hit, among other targets, student dormitories at a religious school.
    
The Houthis blockaded Damaj for weeks last year, accusing the Salafis of stockpiling weapons, a charge they deny.
    
Some Sunnis fear the Houthis want to revive the 1,000-year Zaydi Imamate, whose rulers claimed descent from the Prophet Mohammad. The imamate ended in a 1962 military coup.
    
Apart from the Salafi-Houthi conflict, Yemen is struggling with southern secessionists and militants of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which has plotted attacks on U.S. airliners and targets in Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid