Ibb water factory attacked by armed men [Archives:2006/936/Local News]

April 10 2006

Nashwan Dammaj
IBB, April 9 ) The National Company for Mineral Water in Al-Siani, Ibb was attacked by armed individuals in a military car. Dressed in civilian clothes, five men threatened employees with death and blowing up the factory unless they left and wrote a document confirming the factory's seizure.

According to Yahya Al-Siani, general manager of the factory's external relations, the armed men first threatened to kill the guards unless they opened the gates, insulting them and calling them swine. They then stormed the factory and attacked employee Yousef Abdulqadir, the factory's chief accountant.

The attackers alleged that they were doing this because the factory was theirs, as their sheikh, Ali Hizam Al-Buslani, had bought it from businessman Tawfeek Abdurahim Mutahar. They said they were sent to close the factory for an indefinite time.

Factory administration reported the incident to Al-Siani security headquarters, which sent an armed military vehicle with some soldiers. According to factory workers, the soldiers took the five attackers and some of factory employees for questioning.

Al-Siani said all factory employees were interrogated; however, security questioned only three of the attackers, who seemed to have outside intervention. They left Al-Siani area within a few hours of questioning, affirming that they will return with their whole tribe to seize the factory.

Al-Siani confirmed that the region's security commander, Col. Ali Abu Ghanim, seems to be plotting with the men, as they are from his area of 'Arhab.' According to Al-Siani, Ghanim released them on a written pledge to return Saturday, but they did not. Al-Siani added that a petition was submitted to the governor and the governorate security administration, which directed Ghanim to take necessary measures. However, according to Al-Siani, he did nothing.

The mineral water company was established two years ago under the name “Biladi” in a partnership between Salahadeen Group of companies with 75 percent of shares, Mutahar with four percent and the remaining 21 percent for local area residents. According to the factory's public relations, it is not confirmed yet whether Mutahar sold his shares.