Yemeni Shiite rebels kill pro-gov't tribal leader: official

14:08, August 30, 2010      

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A pro-government tribal leader was killed by Shiite rebels in the northern Yemeni flash point Saada, the Houthi-led rebels' stronghold province, two days after the government and rebels signed a Qatari-mediated new peace accord in Doha, a security official said on Sunday.

"Sheikh Maeen Abdullah al-Awjari, a member of the General People's Congress (ruling party), was shot dead late on Saturday by Shiite rebels in al-Safra district in Saada," the official of the Interior Ministry told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

"Al-Awjari, who is also a chieftain of pro-government large tribe in Saada province, was killed because he and his tribe fought alongside the government troops against the rebels during the war that ended in last February," he said.

"Shiite group is waging secret assassinations against tribal leaders who are loyal to the government and took parts in the previous government-led war against the rebel group," he added.

On Thursday, representatives of the Yemeni government and Shiite rebels signed an agreement in the Qatari capital Doha to cement a fragile ceasefire in northern Yemen that ended sporadic battles since 2004.

The agreement, which was mediated by the Qatari government, stipulated a timetable for implementing previous truce deals, including the 2008 Doha peace agreement and the Feb. 11, 2010 ceasefire deal, as well as the new Doha truce agreement to end the war in northern Yemen.

Yemen has witnessed sporadic battles since 2004 between government troops and the Shiite rebels, also known as Houthis, whom the government accused of seeking to re-establish the clerical rule overthrown by the 1962 Yemeni revolution that created the Yemeni republic.

On Feb. 11, the government and Shiite rebels reached another cease-fire agreement to end the conflict. However, both sides repeatedly accused each other over breaching the truce after the agreement.

Source: Xinhua


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