Yemeni Police Kill 10 Shiite Houthi Protesters
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – The Yemeni police have killed at least 10 Shia Houthi protesters and injured dozens others at a demonstration in the capital Sana’a, a senior Yemeni security official says.
On Sunday, the Houthis demonstrated outside the headquarters of the country’s internal security service — the National Security Bureau (NSB) — that has been accused of human rights abuses.
They demanded the disbanding of the NSB because of its involvement in suppression of political activists under ousted dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The protesters were also demanding the release of the Houthis being held by the authorities.
According to the security official, 10 protesters were killed, 38 wounded and 87 others detained by the police.
The police used live ammunition against the protesters, said Abdel Karim al-Khaywani, a local Houthi leader.
Khaywani stated that the police also arrested some of the wounded demonstrators before they could be treated at hospital.
Yemen’s Shia Houthi movement draws its name from the tribe of its founding leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.
The conflict between the government of Saleh and Houthi fighters in northern Yemen began in 2004 and ended when a truce was reached in 2010.
In August 2009, the Saleh government launched Operation Scorched Earth to uproot the Houthi resistance fighters, whom Sana’a had accused of seeking a return to the Zaydi imamate overthrown in a 1962 coup.
In November 2009, Saudi forces also started fighting against the Houthis and bombing their positions after accusing the fighters of killing Saudi border guards.
Houthi fighters said that Saudi forces used toxic materials, including white phosphorus, in the attacks on northern Yemen.
The Houthis, who control parts of the north and are engaged in reconciliation talks with Sana’a, accuse the government of violating their civil rights and marginalizing them politically, economically, and religiously.
Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years, stepped down in February 2012 under a US-backed power transfer deal in return for immunity, after a year of mass street demonstrations demanding his ouster.
His vice president, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, replaced him on February 25, 2012 following a single-candidate presidential election backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia.
The Houthi movement played a key role in the popular revolution that forced Saleh to step down.
On June 6, tens of thousands of Houthis reburied the remains of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, who was killed in 2004 by the forces loyal to the Saleh regime.
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