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Yemen: Fatal clashes erupt between Shiite protesters and security forces01:02

Yemen: Fatal clashes erupt between Shiite protesters and security forces

Yemen, Sanaa
June 10, 2013 at 20:26 GMT +00:00 · Published

Yemen: Fatal clashes erupt between Shiite protesters and security forces

At least seven people are reported killed and dozens injured by gunfire as clashes broke out between Shiite Houthi protesters and Yemeni security forces in the capital Sanaa on Sunday. Violence escalated after armed Houthi protesters had gathered outside the National Security Agency building and demanded the release of political detainees.

The Houthi movement is composed of Zaidi Shia members and takes its name from a former commander called Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, who was killed in 2004. Houthis have mounted armed campaigns against the government and are said to control several regions in northern Yemen.

Some of the armed Houthi protesters are said to have fired at guards while attempting to enter the National Security Agency building, which sparked the gunfight. Ali al-Bokhayti, a Houthi leader, said that Yemeni security forces used excessive force in response to the storming of the building, and that only five Houthi protesters were killed during the incident.

Yemen experienced political turmoil beginning in early 2011, when mass protests exploded in the capital and in other major cities. Fed by mass defections from government military and political leaders, Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to resign in February 2012. Yemen continues to see unrest and protests in large part due to the presence of extremist groups. According to the US National Counterterrorism Centre, Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula bases its operations out of Yemen, and the US frequently conducts drone strikes on targets in Yemeni territory.

Yemen: Fatal clashes erupt between Shiite protesters and security forces01:02
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Yemen: Fatal clashes erupt between Shiite protesters and security forces

At least seven people are reported killed and dozens injured by gunfire as clashes broke out between Shiite Houthi protesters and Yemeni security forces in the capital Sanaa on Sunday. Violence escalated after armed Houthi protesters had gathered outside the National Security Agency building and demanded the release of political detainees.

The Houthi movement is composed of Zaidi Shia members and takes its name from a former commander called Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, who was killed in 2004. Houthis have mounted armed campaigns against the government and are said to control several regions in northern Yemen.

Some of the armed Houthi protesters are said to have fired at guards while attempting to enter the National Security Agency building, which sparked the gunfight. Ali al-Bokhayti, a Houthi leader, said that Yemeni security forces used excessive force in response to the storming of the building, and that only five Houthi protesters were killed during the incident.

Yemen experienced political turmoil beginning in early 2011, when mass protests exploded in the capital and in other major cities. Fed by mass defections from government military and political leaders, Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to resign in February 2012. Yemen continues to see unrest and protests in large part due to the presence of extremist groups. According to the US National Counterterrorism Centre, Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula bases its operations out of Yemen, and the US frequently conducts drone strikes on targets in Yemeni territory.