Yemeni gov't evacuates Salafis from northern conflicts

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-1-13 21:11:20

The Yemeni government began Monday to evacuate thousands of Sunni Salafis from the northern province of Saada after a two-month sectarian fighting killed at least 830 people, the state-run Al-Thawra newspaper reported.

A presidential committee brokered a deal two days ago to end the conflict between the Salafis and Shiite forces, which is known as Houthis, in and around the small Salafi-dominated town of Dammaj, said the committee's chief, Yehya Mansour Abu Ausbu.

"We will deploy more soldiers around Dammaj after the withdrawal of Salafi fighters who began Monday to leave the town along with their families to the neighboring Red Sea province of Hodayda," Abu Ausbu was quoted by Al-Thawra as saying.

"President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has agreed to cover all costs and compensation for the evacuation of the Salafi people in order to end the sectarian conflict," said Abu Ausbu.

"The government has collected a total of 830 bodies of Salafis who were killed during the fighting with the Shiite forces since October 2013," he added.

He also said that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) would bury all bodies in Hodayda province.

The government did not reveal the death toll for the Houthis.

Dammaj town, which lies in the southern part of Saada province, has been under siege for months by the Shiite forces. The Shiite rebels have been in control of most parts of the province since they signed a cease-fire deal with the Yemeni government in August 2010 that ended an intermittent war since 2004.

Posted in: Mid-East

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