Four Al-Houthi supporters killed [Archives:2005/826/Front Page]

March 21 2005

SANAA, March 19 (Reuters), Yemen Times Staff – Four supporters of a slain anti-U.S. cleric in Yemen, of the so-called the “Believing Youth”, were killed on Saturday while trying to flee from police after a shootout, the official Saba news agency said.

It said a group of followers of rebel leader Hussein al-Houthi ) who was killed by Yemeni forces last year ) had sped away in a car after exchanging fire with police at the Talh market for weapons in Saada province, north of the capital Sana'a.

Four of the men were killed when the car overturned after colliding with a security vehicle, Saba said, adding that three other rebels and a policeman were injured.

Houthi was killed last September after two months of clashes with security forces in which over 200 rebels and troops died.

The government of Yemen accused Houthi, leader of the Believing Youth group of setting up unlicensed religious centres and forming an armed group which staged violent protests.

Houthi was one of a number of rebel leaders in Yemen, but he represented a considerable target having engaged the security forces over a long period. His group is not linked to al Qaeda.

Yemen has cooperated with the U.S.-led war on terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

It has also cracked down on al Qaeda-linked militants after attacks at home, including the USS Cole bombing in 2000 and the 2002 attack on the French supertanker Limburg.