2 Soldiers Killed in Intesifying Military Action Against Tribesmen in Wadi Habab of Khowlan PRESSURE BUILDING UP [Archives:1999/47/Front Page]
HABAB: Al-Haraja village of Al-Saeed Habab, Khawlan, has for the past two weeks come under heavy artillery and katusha rocket shelling by the Republican guard forces and army units stationed in the area.
The shelling has so far led to destruction of 8 residential houses and the Shiite Mosque (Fatima Al-Zahraa), the only Shiite Mosque in the Republic of Yemen.
Artillery and rocket shelling killed large numbers of sheep and cattle, and fires devoured stockpiles of cattle fodder. The shelling has also inflicted heavy damage on water wells, and army troops have destroyed the citizens’ farms and trees.
Sheikh Ali Maqri Al-Radmani, one of the area’s chieftains told our correspondent that they could not tolerate these inhumane practices indefinitely and “the tribesmen are armed and capable of powerful retaliation.” “We are not Israelis to have our villages, farms and worshipping places destroyed,” Skeikh Radmani said.
On the recent kidnapping incidents that took place in the area, Skeikh Al-Radmani has clarified that the person responsible for those incidents belongs to Aanis tribe. More on P2
He added that the person had sought refuge at his tribe two years ago and is living among them temporarily. Nevertheless, he says, we are now held responsible for the consequences. The Sheikh has made it clear that they forced that person to release the hostages in only three hours.
Speaking about blasting of the oil pipeline on November 16, 1999, Sheikh Radmani said the explosion took place about 200 meters away from an army camp, implying that those who implemented it could be elements from the camp.
On the other hand, light weapons clashes between Republican guard and army troops, and residents of the area resulted in the death of two soldiers with others wounded, in addition to the wounding of two residents of the area.
The two dead soldiers were given funerals, and were buried in Sana’a on Sunday November 21,1999.
The area’s Skeikh and notables issued a statement appealing to the state to pull its troops out of the area and to stop shelling operations and the destruction of their villages and property.
He added that the person had sought refuge with his tribe two years ago and is living among them temporarily. Nevertheless, he says, we are now held responsible for the consequences. The Sheikh has made it clear that they forced that person to release the hostages in only three hours.
“Skeikhs, notables and residents of Habab Bani Jabbr district, Khawlan , Marib governorate, sent a call to Bani Jabbr, Khawlan and Bakeel tribes, religious figures, all organizations and political parties, and the people of Yemen, appealing to them to interfere to stop the shelling they are exposed to.
The call says people’s houses and mosques are being destroyed and children, women and elderly people have become homeless under the scorching heat of the sun and are scattered in desolate valleys without food or drink. Properties are being looted and the wounded are given medical treatment. The Sheikhs and dignitaries of the tribe called upon all those parties to help them out of their ordeal, asking UNICEF, human rights, and relief organizations to supply them with food, medicine and tents.