Yemen parliament calls on Gov't to repel Shiite rebellion after attack

July 27, 2010 10:48 am 

SANAA, July 27 — The Yemeni Parliament on Monday accused Shiite rebels of deteriorating security situation in the north and called on the government to repel the rebellion, the parliament said in a statement hours after the rebels announced the seizure of an army base in Amran province.

In its session on Monday, the Parliament said the gangs of rebels should be held responsibility for their continuing criminal acts against the nation and its consequences, the Defense Ministry quoted the statement as saying.

It added the parliament also called on the government to bear the constitutional responsibility to promptly repel all criminals, outlaws and to eradicate any rebellion in a bid to preserve security and stability of the nation.

The parliament urged the rebels to comply with the ceasefire agreement sealed with the government last February, the statement said.

Yemeni Prime Minister Ali al-Mujawar and his government's ministers attended the Parliament session, according to the ministry.

Earlier on Monday, the spokesman of the Shiite rebels Dhaif al- Shami told Xinhua by phone that "Houthi fighters (Shiite rebels) completely took over Zalaa military site which is the most strategic military position in Harf Sufian in the north of Amran province."

"Houthi forces also managed to kill perhaps a dozen of government troops and captured some other soldiers," Shami said. He refused to specify the death toll and the number of soldiers captured.

The rebel spokesman also said that the reason behind the Houthis' action to capture the government army site was that "the latter was providing military support to the week-long battle between the armed pro-government and Houthis."

"The situation now is nearly calm in the area," he added.

A tribal top mediator refused to comment of the situation.

On Sunday, chieftain Qassem Qubaida, who led a mediation team of tribal chiefs, told Xinhua that the pro-government tribal leader Sheikh Sageer Aziz has agreed to an initial deal to stop firing while the Shiite rebels has so far eluded to sign the halting fire deal.

"Houthis claimed they confronted the state troops who struck their villages, accusing the government of breaching a truce deal sealed with them in February," Qubaida said, adding that tribal efforts are still continuing to persuade the Houthis into the cease-fire agreement.

Last week, bitter battles flared up between the pro-government tribe and the rebels, killing at least 25 people, raising the death toll to at least 51 during the past week.

The conflict took place more than a week ago in Harf Sufian district of Amran province, some 60 km north of the capital Sanaa between tribesmen of Sheikh Aziz and Houthi rebels, which came following an ambush that killed three rebels.

The rebels blamed the government troops for the ambush while the families of the dead Houthis, however, accused Aziz's tribes.

On July 2, Yemeni Interior Ministry said Shiite rebels blew up the home of Sheikh Aziz in a northern ceasefire area, killing three followers of Sheikh Aziz inside the house.

Since 2004, Yemen has witnessed sporadic battles between the government troops and the Shiite Houthi rebels whom the government accused of seeking to re-establish the clerical rule overthrown by the 1962 Yemeni revolution which yielded the Yemeni republic.

On Feb. 11, the government and the independence-seeker Shiite rebels struck a truce deal to end a six-year sporadic conflict. Both sides, however, repeatedly trade accusations of breaching the truce which still holds so far. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

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