x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

One killed in attack on Houthi procession

A car bomber attacked a convoy traveling to attend the funeral of Badr al-Hawthi, the father of a Shiite rebel group leader, claiming one life and leaving eight wounded.

SANA’A // One person was killed and eight people were wounded in a suicide attack yesterday on a group of Houthis in the northern province of Sa’ada.

According to Abu Hashim, a Houthi rebels spokesman, a suicide bomber driving a vehicle laden with explosives rammed a procession of tribesmen from Mareb province which was on its way to Dhahyan city in Sa’ada to commemorate the death of Badreddin al Houthi, the group’s spiritual leader, who died on Thursday at the age of 86.

“One person was martyred and eight people were wounded when a car carrying tribesmen from Mareb province to Dhahyan exploded,” Abu Hashim said in a telephone interview.

Badreddin al Houthi is the father of the rebel commander Abdulmalik al Houthi and of his predecessor Hussein al Houthi, who was killed during the first round of the insurgency that started in 2004.

He was one of the eminent spiritual leaders of the Zaidi branch of the Shiite faith, which is the majority community in Yemen’s northern mountains but a minority in the mainly Sunni country as a whole. This is the second attack of its kind in three days.

On Wednesday, a suicide attack targeted a religious celebration known as al Ghadeer, the day on which Shiites commemorate the appointment of Ali, one of the key figures of their faith, as successor to the Prophet Mohammed.

Abu Hashim said the attack had “the same fingerprints and style” as Wednesday’s attackers. He blamed the US intelligence for that attack. The Houthis have been fighting against the government since 2004 and reached a truce in February.

malqadhi@thenational.ae