Yemeni Shiite rebels free 5 oil engineers: ministry

15:00, July 12, 2010      

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Yemeni northern Shiite rebels on Sunday released five Yemeni oil engineers who were kidnapped three days ago, the Interior Ministry said.

It said the security authorities in al-Jouf province, north of the capital Sanaa, followed up the situation of the five kidnapped oil workers and sought to secure the release of them as soon as possible.

"The five staffs of the Marib oil company were released unscathed ...and security procedures are underway to capture the rebels who were involved in the kidnapping," the ministry said.

Last Friday, the Interior Ministry accused the Shiite rebels, also known as Houthis, of kidnapping five oil engineers belonging to the Marib-based Yemeni Oil Company (YOC).

The engineers were captured on a mission to inspect oil pipelines in Barat and Kharab al-Mouashi districts in al-Jouf, the ministry added.

Earlier, the Yemeni government accused the Shiite rebels in the north of failing to fulfill the ceasefire deal agreed in February.

An official overseeing the ceasefire deal called on the rebels to commit themselves to the truce and to stop impeding efforts to bring peace to Saada province and the Harf Sufian district of Amran province.

Since 2004, Yemen has witnessed sporadic battles between 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 created the Yemeni republic.

On Feb. 11, the government and Shiite rebels struck a ceasefire agreement to end the conflict in the northern part of the country. However, both sides repeatedly trade accusations over breaching truce.

Source: Xinhua


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