Over 100 Shiite rebels killed in Yemen, government says

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yemeni government officials reported that Yemeni armed forces have killed over 100 Zaidi Shia rebel fighters following a battle to capture a town in the country's north.

In a statement, the government said that "the bodies of more than 100 rebels have been recovered from the roadside outside the town of Harf Sufyan. It seems that the bodies were those of rebels who were trying to flee the town during a mopping-up operation over the past two days." The statement also said that two commanders, Mohsen Saleh Hadi Gawd and Salah Jorman, were identified among the dead.

The government statement said the Yemeni forces "totally [purged] the town of rebel elements in the past two days, forcing the rebels to surrender or flee."

The Zaidi insurgent group, also known as Houthis, have been fighting for northern independence for the past half decade. Two weeks ago, the Yemeni government started Operation Scorched Earth to try to exterminate the insurgents.

Harf Sufyan is a town in Yemen's northern mountain range. It is about seventy kilometres north of Sana'a, the country's capital.