13 killed as clashes, blasts rock Yemen

At least two people have been killed in a clash between Houthi fighters and security guards at Sanaa airport, 11 Houthi militants were killed in two separate bombings in Yemen's central province of Al-Bayda'

13 killed as clashes, blasts rock Yemen

World Bulletin/News Desk

At least two people have been killed in a clash between Shi'ite Muslim Houthi fighters and security guards at Sanaa airport, medics and local officials said on Tuesday, three days after formation of a new government.

At least 11 Shiite Houthi militants were killed in two separate bombings in Yemen's central province of Al-Bayda', a tribal source said Tuesday.

The source said that a roadside explosive charge – planted, he claimed, by militants affiliated with Al-Qaeda – went off as a Houthi convoy passed through Rada'a town, leaving six Houthis dead.

Another explosion in the same town struck a Houthi patrol, killing five Houthis, he added.

Yemen, a U.S. ally situated between oil producer Saudi Arabia and a key shipping route on the Red Sea, is trying to end political unrest that began with protests against Ali Abdullah Saleh, president for 33 years until he stepped down in 2012.

The Houthis, who come from the northern part of the country, seized Sanaa in September in the face of minimal resistance after weeks of demonstrations by protesters opposed to government moves to reduce fuel subsidies.

The Houthis have since pushed further outside the capital, clashing with tribesmen and allied militants from al Qaeda in fighting in which scores of people have died.

Sources at the airport said the clash erupted late on Monday during a dispute over security at the entrance to the terminal.

Airport sources said three security guards were wounded in the incident, prompting the airport to close for one hour. Medics later said that two of the wounded people died of their wounds. One was an airport security guard.

Airport sources said the Houthis had increasingly been interfering in searches of passengers, including foreign travellers, confiscating alcohol they had long been allowed to bring into the country.

They Houthis have also been enforcing a travel ban they have imposed on a number of former government officials.

Under a security annex to the power-sharing deal they signed with other major political parties after seizing Sanaa, the Houthis were to start withdrawing from the capital after a new government was formed. The new government was sworn in on Saturday, but there is no sign the Houthis are preparing to leave.

Instead, the political office of the Houthi's Ansarullah group has criticised the new government as "disappointing", saying that some names on the new cabinet did not comply with agreements.

The statement also rejected a U.N. Security Council decision that ordered sanctions on former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and two members of the Houthi group, saying the resolution was a blatant intervention in Yemen's internal affairs and an attempt to undermine reconciliation efforts.

Houthis free Brotherhood-linked hostages

Meanwhile, Houthi group on Tuesday released 38 members of a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated party after having held them hostage in central Yemen for ten days, a local official has said.

"Houthi militants released 38 hostages from the Islah Party, including senior party figures, after abducting them from the party's headquarters in Ibb province," Okeil Fadel, the provincial government's undersecretary for technical affairs, told Anadolu Agency.

On November 1, Houthi militants killed four security guards and captured the 38 Islah Party members in a raid on the party's headquarters.

Details of the party members' release, however, remain unclear.

The Houthis recently set up check-points across Ibb after seizing control of the local security headquarters.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Kasım 2014, 15:25