Yemen

13 dead, dozens injured in Houthi-Islah clashes in Amran

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Ali Ibrahim Al-Moshki (author)

SANA’A, Aug. 21 — Armed clashes between Houthi members and Islah tribesmen left 13 people dead and dozens injured in Amran governorate on Monday. Seven of the killed were Houthis and six were Islah tribesmen. Clashes continued through Tuesday afternoon.

Amran Security Manager Colonel Mohammed Turaik told the Yemen Times that land disputes were at the root of the conflict. Both sides claim ownership over land on Al-Janah Mountain.

Security forces intervened but could not end the clashes, Turaik said. Both sides had heavy weaponry, including RPGs.

“The Houthis bombarded Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hussein Al-Ahmar’s house with RPGs. The guard’s house was damaged in the attack,” Turaik said. “The governorate is witnessing chaos and security forces are unable to maintain stability.”

Sheikh Al-Ahmar’s house is used to host tribal meetings and mediations.

National Dialogue Conference (NDC) Houthi representative Ali Al-Emad told the Yemen Times that the Houthis will accept the government’s solution to the ongoing clashes. The alternative is instability, he said.

“The confrontations will perhaps last for weeks if the government keeps its distance from the conflict,” Al-Emad said.

Declared a governorate after unity in 1990, Amran has 20 districts and a population of over 800,000.

Islah Party member Abdulla Abu Rakba said the Houthis started the clashes by taking-over land belonging to Islah affiliates.

“[We] will see further clashes between the two sides in the [coming] days until Islah regains control of those areas currently occupied by the Houthis,” he said.

The majority of armed confrontations between Houthis and Islah tribesmen in Amran and Sa’ada are over strategic properties used by both sides during conflicts.