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Yemen: Militias Open Fire on Worshipers in Al-Bayda | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Houthi rebels/ Reuters

Taiz – Houthi and Saleh rebel militias committed on Friday a new crime after entering a mosque in the city of al-Bayda, sporadically firing live ammunition at civilians and kidnapping a number of worshipers.

Local sources and eyewitnesses told Asharq Al-Awsat that, “Militias infringed Al-Tawhid Mosque in central al-Bayda with tens of armed men and tried to kidnap the Friday preacher and replace him with a preacher allied to them.”

However, the sources said worshipers gathered to prevent Houthis from replacing the preacher. “The armed militias therefore started shooting inside the mosque, injuring a number of worshipers, and kidnapping others,” the sources added.

The incident comes amid fierce battles in al-Bayda governorate at several fronts, where the Yemeni Army Forces and their allies had made an important advancement and recuperated several positions previously controlled by Houthi and Saleh rebel militias.

Political activist Ahmad al-Hamzi who is from al-Bayda told Asharq Al-Awsat that residents were angry with Houthi and Saleh militias after breaking into the mosque during the Friday prayers. “Those militias incite sectarian works against civilians as they try to enforce their ideas by the use of force,” al-Hamzi said.

The activist asserted that rebel militias had hysterically launched Katyusha missiles and mortars on civilian houses in the areas of Al ‘Ajradi and Al-Qawa’a in Az Zahir district.

In Taiz, Houthi and Saleh militias continue to commit new massacres against civilians by shelling the residential neighborhoods of the city and the villages of Hayfan and Al-Salo, south Taiz, and by attacking Yemeni army positions at several fronts.

At the field level, Arab Coalition jets raided on Friday positions of Houthi militias in Taiz. Eyewitnesses said: “The coalition jets raided militia positions in the 22 Brigade camp, east Taiz.”

Meanwhile, Yemeni Human Rights Minister Izzedine al-Asbahi posted on his Facebook page on Friday that the Taiz battle would end by a victory for the city, “which will turn into an example for change and as the last wall that confronted the pour of hatred and the rhetoric that destroyed humans before the stone.”