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Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Houthis abduct at least 40 people from Yemeni village

Houthis abduct at least 40 people from Yemeni village

Heavily armed Iran-backed Houthis on Tuesday attacked a Yemeni village and abducted more than 40 people for refusing to attend the militia’s summer camps.
Yemeni government officials and rights groups said a senior tribal chief was among those kidnapped from Al-Khadher in the central province of Al-Bayda.
Dozens of Houthi fighters in military vehicles, including tanks, stormed the village and took guns, personal property, and locals including tribal leader Hussien Al-Khader Abdu Rabbo Al-Sawadi.

According to Al-Sawadi tribesmen, the attack was launched because they had failed to send their youngsters to the yearly Houthi summer camps and had rejected the group’s military activities in the area.

Ahmed Mohammed Al-Sawadi, a local who earlier relocated to government-controlled Marib, told Arab News: “The attack is motivated by their animosity for the area as a result of past conflicts we fought with them.

“The Houthis do not forget to settle old scores. In addition, the residents in the area refused to attend the summer camps.”

Residents believe the camps are being used to indoctrinate and recruit children before sending them to fight against Yemeni government forces.

Brig. Abdullah Al-Humaiqani, a native of the province, told Arab News that the Houthis had brutally punished the villagers to send a warning message to other communities.

“The enraged Houthis have made it their goal to humiliate the tribe’s members in order to set an example for anyone who disobeys their orders,” Al-Humaiqani said.

In a tweet, Faisal Al-Majidi, undersecretary at the Yemeni Ministry of Justice, said: “The assaults, plundering of residences, and arrests of citizens in the village of Al-Khadher and Al-Sawadea in Al-Bayda are evidence that the Houthis cannot survive without violence and disorder.”

He described Al-Bayda as “a resistance province” that had long refused to capitulate to the Houthis.

Yemen’s Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani also criticized the Houthis for attacking the village and called on the international community and mediators working to settle Yemen’s conflict to protect Yemenis from further militia assaults.

He said: “This is not the first terrorist act committed by the Houthi militia against the people of Al-Bayda province since its coup d’etat.

“It has previously attacked dozens of villages in the province’s various districts and committed the most egregious crimes and violations against their inhabitants,” he added.
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