Ten of Houthi protesters were killed and over 100 injured on Sunday by Yemeni troops when they marched towards the National Security Bureau (NSB) in the capital Sana’a to protest detention of fellow members.
Shiite Houthis group, which goes by the name Ansar Allah ‘Followers of God’ accuses the NSB (Yemen intelligence) of having detained dozens of Houthi members before and during 2011 uprising.
Houthi spokesperson, Ali Al-Bukhaiti, told Al-Yemen Al-Youm TY channel in late Sunday’s evening that nine protesters were killed and over 100 were injured. He said that another two dozens of Sunday’s protesters were also detained by the National Security.
Sunday’s crackdown on protesters marks the deadliest since president Hadi took office in a power transfer deal that ended former president Saleh’s 33-year rule.
Two weeks ago, Houthis marched towards the NSB demanding the release of their fellow members but no crackdown was reported. Sunday’s protest was faced with a host of live bullets a well as water cannons. Affiliate Houthi media outlets showed a footage of plainclothes soldiers on roofs near the NSB’s headquarters, firing at the crowds.
No official statement has been released. Yet, Mohammed Albasha, spokesperson of Yemen embassy in Washington, said that “in a late meeting, senior military and security commanders acknowledged and regrets the death of 7 civilians, dozens of wounded & damages…”. Albasha said in his personal twitter account that “the Defense Inspector General, Mayor of Sana’a, Minister of Interior will supervise the launched investigation at today’s killings and violence”.
The Houthis remained at Sana’a Change Square, the epicenter of 2011 protest, after the main and powerful group of Islah Party ended protest activities in April 19.
In a statement released Sunday’s evening, the Houthis called on all ‘free people’ to gather tomorrow at Change Square to stage a protest calling for the ‘abolition of the NSB and The Political Security Organization’ (PSO), another of Yemen’s intelligence-gathering agency.