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Middle East
Yemeni fighters sentenced to death
Ten Houthis given death penalty and five others jailed over deadly clashes.
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2009 12:49 GMT

The fighters shouted slogans in court after being sentenced [EPA]

A Yemeni court has sentenced 10 Houthi fighters to death and jailed at least five others over clashes which killed hundreds of people north of the capital last year.

A court in the capital, Sanaa, sentenced the fighters on Tuesday for "associating with an armed group for criminal purposes, creating an organised terrorist group and  resistance to the authorities".

They had been captured during clashes in Bani Husheish, 30km from Sanaa, between March and June 2008.

A defence lawyer told the AFP news agency that an appeal had been lodged on behalf of two members of the group, but that the 13 others refused to appeal on the grounds that they did not recognise the court's legitimacy.

In depth

  Profile: Yemen's Houthi fighters

The men shouted "God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam" after being sentenced.

Two other Houthi fighters were sentenced to death last week.

The Houthis first took up arms against the government in 2004, citing political, economic and religious marginalisation.

The conflict intensified in August when the army unleashed Operation Scorched Earth.

Aid groups have said up to 150,000 people have fled their homes since 2004 because of the unrest.

Source:
Agencies
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