SANAA (Reuters) – Yemeni forces have surrounded a sprawling mosque complex in the capital Sanaa amid fears that backers of ousted autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh might use it as a launchpad to attack the presidential palace.
The operation, in its fourth day on Tuesday, is the most dramatic standoff yet between current President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Saleh’s supporters since he was forced to step down in 2011 following mass protests after 33 years in power.
SANAA (Reuters) – Eleven people were killed when attackers mounted a bomb, grenade and gun assault on the main prison in Yemen’s capital on Thursday to try to free inmates, security sources and witnesses said.
Explosions and gunfire could be heard several kilometers away from the prison in northern Sanaa, which has al Qaeda members among its inmates. The biggest explosion rattled windows in the area.
By Khaled Abdullah
If you are looking for an AK-47, a sniper rifle or even an anti-aircraft gun, it takes only half-an-hour of shopping around in this arms market, one of Yemen’s biggest weapons markets, to find one.
The market is located in Jihana, a village some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
Yemen is one of the countries most heavily armed with deadly weapons.
Although this is mainly a tribal society where tribes are armed to the teeth, there are still too many guns for sale in the country’s robust arms markets, as if the entire population must be armed. “Here, you can get fully armed as you can be,” Jihana arms dealer Mohammad Sharaf said. An AK-47 can cost between $700 and $1,700 depending on age, make and quality. The only man shop owners do not welcome is a photojournalist. Many of them believe that the more publicity their market gets the more government crackdown they receive.
By Khaled Abdullah
The “Arab Spring” revolutions have helped societies in countries throughout the Middle East achieve hopes of change. But in Yemen, one group is still a long way from achieving its dreams.
The Akhdam, Yemen’s marginalized black minority, has suffered for centuries from perpetual discrimination and cultural persecution, and they are seen as “untouchables” at the bottom of the country’s social hierarchy.