Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Houthis say Saudi attacks failed - new separatist demonstrations in the South

The UN administerd Mazraq camp in North Yemen. It is estimated that the war against the Houthi´s has caused 175.000 poeple to fly their homes.

Houthi rabels in North Yemen on Tuesday accused Yemen’s army of cooperating with Saudi forces to launch attacks against them.They also said they had defeated Saudi assaults from across the border. ‘The people’s army charged with protecting the border is cooperating with the Saudi army in bombing and ground attacks... against the country and its sons,’ a statement from the Houthis, said.
The Houthis also said, in a separate statement, that they withstood Saudi attacks into Yemen.
‘The Saudi attack continued on three fronts, but two were broken by Monday evening,’ it said.
‘The attack on the third front continued until night, but was broken completely and the (Saudi) aggressors suffered heavy losses in men and materiel.’
Witnesses in the frontier area told the newsagency AFP that clashes between the Saudis and rebels continued on Tuesday, and that there were intense artillery strikes and air raids on Houthi positions all along the border.
The witnesses could not see if the bombardment and air raids were launched by Saudi or Yemeni forces. The rebels said that after they had defeated the Saudi advance, bombing resumed along the border, and continued until early on Tuesday. The bombing targeted the Jebel Al Dukhan, Jebel Rumayh, Jebel Al Madoud, Malaheez, Shedah and Hasama areas and various border villages. 
The Saudi army joined the fighting on 4 November after rebels killed a border guard and occupied two small villages inside Saudi territory. They said they did so because the Saudis had broken theur word that they would not permit the Yemeni army to use Saudi territory around the Jebel Dukhan to attack the Houthis from there.

In the meantime there were renewed clashes in the South between security forces and demonstrators. Five ¨people were killed, included two soldiers, in the southern province of Shabwa. The deaths came on Wednesday when security forces and soldiers tried to stop thousands of pro-secession protesters from entering the city, AFP quoted an unnamed local official as saying. Ten people were wounded at the entrance of the provincial capital of Ataq, 500 kilometers southeast of Sana'a, he said. 

The war against the Houthi´s in the  North, rebels of the Zaidi (sevener shiite faith, the faith of the ruler of Yemen who was deposed in thje 1962 revolution) dates back to 1994 when theri first leader Hussein al-Houthi was killed and replaced by his brother Abdel-Malik al-Houthi. The war flared up after presidnet Ali Abdalla Sale declared a policy of the scorched earth in August of this year. 
The problems in the South dates back to the early nineties. The two Yemens, the North and the communist peoples republic of the South were united in 1990, but in 1994 the South seceded again  and there was a bloody civil war that was won by the North. This year there have been many demonstations and clashes throughout the South of people who renew demands for independence of  the South. The picture has been taken during a demonstration on 27 October in the city of Nabilin.   

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