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Yemen's Houthi-led Shiite rebels form political party

(Xinhua)

11:04, January 06, 2012

SANAA, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Houthi-led Shiite rebels announced Thursday here in Sanaa that they formed a political party "to be an independent political wing to seek to play a role in the country's new political arena."

The Al-Omah Party of the rebels, who are based in the country's northern restive province of Saada, is led by Shiite hard-liner Mohammed Miftah.

A letter by Abdulmalik al-Houthi, the rebels' leader, was read during the inaugurating meeting, saying that "the Al-Omah Party is an independence from foreign domination."

Since the protests erupted in Yemen in late January 2011, Houthi rebels are trying to expand their control over the northern provinces of Saada, Amran and Hajja.

On Aug. 26, 2010, the Yemeni government and the Shiite group signed an agreement in Doha to cement a fragile cease-fire to end the sporadic battles since 2004, but the rebels' clashes with local tribesmen and Sunni supporters are still rocking the region.

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