SANAA: Some 17 Yemeni policemen were wounded in an ambush by Shia Huthi rebels as fighting between government forces and the rebels neared the capital, officials said on Sunday.
The Huthis — also known as Ansarullah — have been pushing out of their northern mountain strongholds towards Sanaa in a suspected bid to expand their sphere of influence as Yemen is reorganised into six regions. “Armed militants belonging to the Ansarullah Huthi (rebels) opened fire at security patrols carrying out their duties in the capital” on Saturday, state news agency Saba said. Militants blocked a road in Sanaa’s Al-Jarraf district, where the rebels have a representative office near to the interior ministry, and opened fire on police patrols from surrounding buildings.
Seventeen policemen, including three officers, were wounded in the assault, it added. Security officials told AFP the incident took place after authorities arrested two wanted rebels and tried to arrest others. Ansarullah said in a statement security forces “targeted” the rebels’ bureau in Sanaa to “ignite a meaningless war.” On Saturday, hundreds of Yemenis protested outside the presidential residence in Sanaa over what they say is the authorities’ inaction over the Shiite rebel advance on the capital.
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