News Report - Saudi and Yemeni Planes hitting Shias in Yemen - 28Aug09 - English

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Yemen's Houthi fighters have accused Saudi Arabia of helping the Yemeni army in its deadly offensive against them in the north-western province of Saada. Zaidi Shia fighters, known as Houthis, issued a statement on Friday saying that at least two Saudi warplanes have bombed their positions in the al-Malahid district. The fighters' statement has been dismissed by the Yemeni army as a baseless allegation. Fighting between Yemeni troops backed by fighter aircraft and Shia fighters has killed dozens, mostly fighters, since the government launched a wide offensive against Shia tribes earlier in the month. The Shia fighters have been engaged in on and off fighting with Yemen's army since 2004. Press TV correspondent in Yemen, Akram Al-Hindi, says the military's campaign against Houthi fighters is expected to intensify in the coming days -- despite the growing civilian death toll. "We have heard that there was a short truce between the government and the Houthi fighters but shortly after that the fighting erupted again," Al-Hindi said. "The treaty which was signed based on Qatar agreement and Doha agreement has been declared dead from the Yemeni government side," he added. According to the correspondent, the Houthi fighters claim that the government is intensifying its military offences and this calls for the end of the truce between the two sides. "This shows that the violence will continue," Al-Hindi concluded. The Houthis say they are defending themselves against religious oppression. The government says it is fighting an armed insurgency seeking to reinstate imamate rule, which ended in a 1962 coup. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an estimated 119,000 people from the northwest Yemeni town of Saada are currently displaced.

Added by Shahjee on 28-08-2009
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