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Al-Azhar: Houthis have crushed Yemen security

The head of Egypt’s al-Azhar spoke on the fifth day of Saudi-led air strikes targeting Houthi rebels in Yemen

Published: Updated:

The head of Egypt’s al-Azhar, one of the most prestigious centers of Sunni Islam learning, on Wednesday accused Yemen’s Houthi rebels of tampering with the country’s security and obstructing political solutions to the crisis.

A statement issued by the Muslim Council of Elders, which top Azhar cleric Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb heads, said Houthis had staged a “coup against what was left of the state in an attempt to tighten their control over the country.” The statement also voiced fears that the Houthis were plunging the country in a potentially long-term civil war.

The Houthis and their allies seized the capital Sanaa last September and the internationally recognized President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi fled the country last week.

Sheikh Tayeb spoke on the fifth day of Saudi-led air strikes targeting Houthis and allied forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Saudi-led coalition spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, said that operations are continuing in the cities of Dalea and Shabwa in the northern Yemen region of Saada, a Houthi stronghold. Asiri said the Houthi fighters in these areas are operating among civilians.

The strikes have also targeted militants, air defense systems, in addition to ballistic missiles, he added.