[QODLink]
Middle East

Yemeni president warns of sectarian fighting

Deadly clashes enter second week as UN envoy makes contact with both camps in an effort to end clashes.

Last Modified: 06 Nov 2013 02:19
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Yemen's president has warned of sectarian violence in his country after deadly clashes continued for a second week in the restive north between rebels from a branch of Shia Islam and ultraconservative Sunnis.

In remarks aired on Tuesday by state TV, President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi denounced "sectarian fighting that does not serve the security or stability of the nation".

Rebels known as Houthis are clashing with conservative Salafis and jihadists in the city of Damaj, in the northern Saada province.

Hadi called for both sides to practice "self-restraint".

A UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, was in contact with both camps to end the fighting.

Since Wednesday, at least a hundred people have reportedly died in fighting between the two groups.

Members of the Houthi community, who say they have been marginalised politically and economically, have been battling the central government for nearly a decade.

This fighting, however, has amplified the sectarian dimension of the conflict in  remote northern Saada province, which has long been virtually inaccessible to reporters.

Al-Qaeda attacks

Violence also continued in the country's south, where Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) launched a series of attacks against the government.

The armed group said it was retaliating against US drone attacks which have targeted its fighters.

On Tuesday, a Yemeni official said that authorities arrested four suspected al-Qaeda fighters in connection with a spate of assassinations of police and army officers in the restive southeast.

The arrests were made in the Hadramawt province town of Ghayl Bawazir on Monday and Tuesday, the official said.

AQAP has intensified its attacks on the Yemeni security forces, taking advantage of the weakening of central government authority since a popular uprising toppled veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011.

“Despite the ongoing government military operation and US drone attacks, al-Qaeda is far from defeated in Yemen," Al Jazeera's Hashem AhelBarra, reporting from Sanaa, said.

"The group remains very active in the south of the country where it enjoys tribal protection. And it is even expanding in some areas where there is no significant military presence," he added.

339

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.