Shia rebels seize city near Yemeni capital

July 09, 2014 - 5:30:08 am

Sana’a: Yemeni Shia rebels yesterday seized control of the northern city of Amran, near the capital Sana’a after three days of fierce fighting estimated to have uprooted some 10,000 families.

“Amran is now under the control of the Huthi” rebels, who are also known as Ansarullah, said the official, whose remarks were confirmed by military sources and witnesses.

The Huthis seized all of Amran, including police stations and the headquarters of the 310th Army Brigade, which is based in the city, said the sources. Their fighters were in control of entries and exits to Amran in the evening, while others patrolled the city.

Amran, 50 kilometres north of Sana’a, is home to an estimated 120,000 people. It has been the scene of fighting between troops and Huthi rebels, as well as tribes on both sides since February as the rebels advanced from their mountain strongholds towards the capital.

The Red Crescent said earlier yesterday that some 10,000 families had fled Amran in three days to escape the intense battle between the army and Shia rebels.

The organisation said 5,000 more families were trapped by the fighting there.

Army reinforcements sent to Amran on Sunday were locked in clashes with rebels in Dharawan, 15 kilometres from Sana’a, and in and around the city itself.