Despite truce, soldiers kill Al-Houthi supporter [Archives:2006/936/Local News]

April 10 2006

SA'ADA, April 9 ) An Al-Houthi follower was killed and another two injured Friday evening when soldiers opened fire on their car as it was passing through a military checkpoint in the restive Sa'ada province.

According to Al-Shoura Net, soldiers at Al Mute'e military checkpoint fired at a car carrying eight passengers, killing one and injuring two. This is the first incident since official declaration that the Sa'ada fighting is over, followed by government reconciliation with Al-Houthi followers a few weeks ago.

Sources said the victim was an Al-Houthi follower and confirmed that those inside the car never returned fire on the soldiers.

Abdulmalik Al-Houthi mentioned that the incident violated reconciliation and general amnesty, while many area residents complained to the governor about arbitrary practices by soldiers at the checkpoint. Locals insisted that the checkpoint be removed, saying there is no justification for its presence, but their demand was unmet.

Al-Houthi holds authorities accountable for the incident, warning of renewed tension, particularly as it coincided with troop intensification. He confirmed that villagers witnessed 20 military vehicles transporting troops into the area.

Al-Houthi pointed out that many of his followers were arrested in the past few days as they returned home following general amnesty and official declaration that the war is over.

He stated that Al-Houthi followers released never exceeded 80, while the other hundreds of citizens authorities announced they released were captured randomly by security authorities, although they have no connection with Al-Houthi.

“The incident implies that the government is not serious enough to implement official declarations concerning general amnesty, releasing prisoners and stopping the hunt for Al-Houthi followers,” Al-Houthi said. He added that they informed Sa'ada's governor and the mediation committee about such illegal practices. Authorities replaced former mosque preachers in Sa'ada with Salafi ones, which locals believe may renew the crisis.