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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Monday, February 26, 2007

Uprising May Widen, Warns Yemen Rebel Leader

SANAA, 26 February 2007 — A Yemeni lawmaker accused of being a leader of a deadly three-year uprising in the mountainous north of country warned yesterday that rebels might widen their campaign.

Yahia Badruddin Al-Houthi, the brother of Hussein Al-Houthi who led the uprising until he was killed by security forces in 2004, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the rebels “have opened new fronts” in their stronghold in the northern province of Saada.

“It is not unlikely that confrontations could spread outside the province,” he said from Germany, where the newspaper said he was currently based.

The rebellion — which the government claimed to have crushed in April 2005 — flared up again in January following a presidential ultimatum on the rebels to disarm, and 42 Yemeni soldiers were killed in the space of a week.

Earlier this month, Yemen requested the extradition from Libya of Houthi while he was on a visit there, saying he was wanted for the “major role he has played and continues to play in the sedition.”

Asharq Al-Awsat quoted Houthi as saying he had been invited by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi who wanted to mediate in the conflict.

Houthi also accused the government of spreading false information that the rebels were targeting Jews in Saada, saying they are “not a target.”

However, earlier this month, the MP’s other brother, rebel leader Abdel Malak Al-Houthi, said that threats had been made against Jews in a village in Saada to force them to leave.
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