Al Mukalla: The internationally-recognised government of Yemen has accused Iran-backed Al Houthi militia of looting houses of two cabinet ministers and kidnapping their guards in Sana’a, the government said in a statement carried by the state-run Saba news agency on Thursday.
Armed men loyal to Al Houthi movement stormed the houses of Minister of Interior, Major General Hussain Arab, and Minister of Information, Muammar Al Aryani, turned them upside down and arrested guards. The government strongly condemned the raids and said that Al Houthi “barbaric and immoral” attacks did not succeeded in forcing people to accept their radical ideologies.
These incidents are the latest in a string of similar attacks targeting heavyweights who threw their weight behind Yemen President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Al Houthis, who seized power in early 2015 on a promise of fighting corruption, have ruthlessly smothered all opposition, muzzled the media and threw thousands of Yemenis into jails.
The brutal tactics promoted thousands of opponents into going into exile or living in areas controlled by Hadi’s government.
In the statement, the government said that Al Houthis have previously robbed the houses of senior advisers to Hadi, government ministers and officials.
Meanwhile, in the province of Marib, local government officials said that a rocket fired by Al Houthi fighters from Hilan mountains on Wednesday ripped through a house in the city, killing a woman and injuring another one. Rebels sneaked into Hilan mountain and fired the rocket that hit a densely populated district that hosts hundreds of people who fled Al Houthi war in the neighbouring Jawf and Sana’a.
Marib city is among a very few Yemeni areas that did not fall to Al Houthis during the early days of their military expansion. It hosts thousands of Saudi-led coalition and Yemeni troops as well as a similar number of internally displaced people.
On the battlefield, fighting raged on Friday between government forces and Al Houthis backed by forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Ministry of Defence said that fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition carried out dozens of sorties in Nehim district, just outside of Al Houthi-held Sana’a and Taiz, targeting Al Houthi military gatherings and enforcements and killing dozens of rebels. Ten Al Houthi fighters were killed on Thursday in fierce clashes with government forces in Nehim.
In the northern province of Jawf, five government forces, including a soldier, and a similar number of Al Houthis were killed when government forces mounted a botched attack against rebels’ locations on Ham mountain, according to Al Masdar Online.