Yemen’s Houthis ‘seize’ port city of Hudeida

Followers of the Shi'ites Houthi group watch a televised speech by the group's leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi as they attend a ceremony marking th Eid al-Ghadir in Sanaa October 12, 2014. (Reuters)

Yemeni rebels have captured the Red Sea city of Hudeida, home to the country's second most important port, just weeks after seizing the capital, a security official said Tuesday, according to Agence France-Presse.

“Houthi militants are deployed across vital installations, including the airport and the port,” said the security official.

He said a security guard was killed when the rebels seized a court in the city, which is home to more than two million people.

The Houthi rebels met little resistance as they swept into Hudeida, located west of Sanaa, taking over its air and sea ports, the official said.

Military and rebel sources confirmed that Houthi militants were seen deployed across main roads in Hudeida.

The seizure came only a few hours after President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi named a new prime minister in a new attempt to end the impoverished country's crippling political crisis.

The Shiites rebels stormed into Sanaa on Sept. 21, easily seizing key government installations.

Military sources had warned that the rebels were looking to take control of Hudeida and to extend their presence to the narrow Bab al-Mandab strait, which leads to the Suez canal.

The rebels, who are also known as Ansarullah and have fought the central government for more than a decade, already had thousands of armed men in Hudeida.

Yemen has been wracked by political turmoil and sporadic violence since the 2012 toppling of strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.

 

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Last Update: 10:35 KSA 13:35 - GMT 10:35
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