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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Houthi rebel shoots dead four civilians in Sanaa 

Gunman opened fire after residents objected to him jumping queue for cooking gas cylinders

There has been a stratospheric surge in gas prices in the Houthi-held provinces of Yemen in recent weeks. Reuters
There has been a stratospheric surge in gas prices in the Houthi-held provinces of Yemen in recent weeks. Reuters

A Houthi fighter shot dead four civilians in Sanaa on Thursday after a dispute with residents queueing to buy cooking gas amid a severe shortage in the Yemeni capital.

The rebel gunman arrived at the Sasco gas station on 30th Street in Maeen district and went straight to the front a line of scores of people waiting to exchange their empty gas cylinders for full ones, a resident of the area told The National.

The owner of the gas station and people already in the queue, who had been waiting days for their turn, objected and asked the man to go to the back of the line but he refused, the resident said.

The argument escalated into fight as the Houthi rebel insisted on being served first. He retreated a few steps before drawing his gun and opening fire, killing four people on the spot and injuring several others.

The resident said the injured were taken to hospital while the fate of the gunman was not clear.

The incident adds to growing anger at the rebels in the capital, which they seized in September 2014. Residents say the price of cooking gas has soared as a result of tax imposed by the Houthis, who are also accused of detaining and torturing civilians.

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Sanaa remains under the control of the Iran-backed rebels but pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition have been closing in on the city as well as recapturing rebel-held areas along the Red Sea coast and in northern and central Yemen.

As many as 100 rebel fighters were killed in coalition air strikes on the Red Sea coast, the UAE news agency Wam reported on Friday, including a bomb-making expert identified as Mahmound Yahia Al Dhal’i.

Air strikes on Thursday also destroyed four Houthi missiles set up behind the local council headquarters of Al Garahi district in the port city of Hodeidah, according to Aseel Al Sakladi, the media officer of the Yemeni army's Al Amalikah brigades.

Coalition jets also struck rebel artillery in Haiys district of Hodeidah province and rebel forces east of Haiys and in the Al Hamily area on the border between Hodeidah and Taez province, Mr Al Sakladi told The National.

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