Rebel Yemenis to face court

A number of alleged members of the rebel Zaidi movement are to appear before a court next week on charges of planning attacks in the Yemeni capital, local press reports.

    Yemeni soldiers fighting in the northwest of the country

    "We have sealed the files of 38 people who are among the instigators of explosive and bomb attacks against the military... so that they may appear next week before the special penal court," Khaled al-Mawari, deputy prosecutor general, was quoted as saying by the official news agency SABA.

    In May, the Yemeni authorities said they arrested 20 members of the cell, which followed Badr al-Din al-Huthi, the spiritual leader of Zaidi rebels who were involved in two weeks of fighting with government forces in the mountainous northwest in April that left 280 people dead.

    This followed another uprising against the government led by al-Huthi's son, Husain, a preacher killed by the army last September after leading a nearly three-month revolt in which more than 400 people were killed.

    Arrests

    Eleven other suspects were arrested earlier in May on similar charges, the authorities said.

    Preacher Husain Badr al-Din
    al-Huthi was killed by soldiers

    An Interior Ministry report said in June that five civilians were killed while 28 others were wounded in several grenade attacks in Sanaa, which targeted Defence Ministry personnel.

    The Zaidis are a Shia Muslim sect dominant in northwest Yemen but in the minority in the mainly Sunni country.

    The rebels reject as illegitimate the republican government that seized power in a 1962 coup, overthrowing the Zaidi imamate.

    Oil riots

    Meanwhile, Justice Minister Adnan Omar al-Jiffri ordered the release of all minors arrested after bloody riots between security forces and demonstrators protesting against a rise in oil prices earlier in July.

    Official reports put the death toll from the clashes at 22 but witnesses said 39 people were killed.

    SOURCE: AFP


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