At least 43 killed, dozens wounded in Sa’adaBattles resume between al-Houthi followers and army [Archives:2005/829/Front Page]

March 31 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
The battles that erupted last Monday between elements of the “Believing Youth” (al-Houthi followers) and government troops have led to the deaths of 15 people, with more than forty wounded. Clashes broke out when some of al-Houthi's followers attacked a military vehicle in Suq al-Anad, between Suq al-Talh and Sa'ada.

An official source in Sa'ada confirmed that the clashes erupted when some of al-Houthi's followers attacked a police station in the District of Sahar and other checkpoints along the highway between Sa'adah and Dhehian. These attacks killed seven policemen and wounded twenty others.

Eyewitnesses told the Yemen Times that the death toll reached over 40 and dozens more have been wounded in the ongoing clashes, in which the authorities have used aircrafts. Accurate numbers of casualties have not been confirmed.

Some military divisions began moving toward the area of al-Rizamat and Nushour Valley last Sunday where they believe Badre Addine al-Houthi, father of Hussein al-Houthi, was staying.

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Eyewitnesses said the Kahlan Military Division increased the number of troops in the areas of Noshour and al-Rizamat in preparation to attack al-Rizamat, Dhehian and Al Shafea areas believed to be the main strongholds of al-Houthi supporters, particularly Abdullah Eidhah al-Rizami the second leader in the “Believing Youth”. Al-Rizami returned to Sa'ada after the failure of negotiations between himself and the government in Sana'a last Ramadan over the release of detainees and compensation for properties damaged during the Sa'adah military operations.

The sources emphasized that confrontations broke out once again after the return of Hussein al-Houthi's 86 year-old father.

The old man left Sana'a last week and was received by over 2000 of al-Houthi's supporters. The authorities accused Badre al-Houthi of standing behind his son's supporters, saying that he left the capital suddenly after he was granted safety by the government.

He has been charged with violating his promise of not to support an insurgency against the government.

While interviewed by al-Wasat Newspaper, Badre al-Houthi asserted that the authorities have not kept their promises concerning the release of the 1000 detainees who supported his son's insurgency last year. He claimed that some of his son's followers are still being hunted by the authorities despite the fact that he responded to the government orders by coming to Sana'a.