Yemeni minister claims 600 preachers tortured and killed by Houthis

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Houthis and militias allied to ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have allegedly arrested, tortured and killed more than 600 preachers and blew up 300 mosques and Quran schools since the start of the war in 2015, the Yemeni Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Askar said on Tuesday.

The minister specified that these operations occured in multiple areas under Houthi control, but did not mention the exact number of preachers killed.

According to the official Yemeni news agency, Askar said that the Arab world is being impacted by extremism on two fronts; one at the hands ISIS and al-Qaeda and the other, Hezbollah and the Houthis.

The Yemeni minister said that the Houthis and their allies in Yemen have carried out all kinds of violations against the Yemeni people, such as killing, arresting and torturing them.

He said the militias have also closed newspapers and websites, and arrested journalists and human rights activists.

They have sieged cities, prohibited the entry of supplies and targeted citizens with various weapons, he added.

Despite widespread rejection of their rule, Houthis are seeking to impose extremism in areas of control, by bombing mosques and forcing preachers to be loyal to them.

During the holy month of Ramadan, Houthis have reportedly prevented people from performing Tarawih prayers – extra prayers performed by Muslims during Ramadan – in mosques.

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