4 Killed in Houthi Clashes

4 Killed in Houthi Clashes4 Killed in Houthi Clashes

Yemen’s Houthi rebels who recently overtook the capital, Sanaa, tried to impose their authority at the city’s international airport, setting off overnight clashes with security personnel that killed four people, officials said Tuesday.

The clashes erupted when airport security tried to prevent the Houthi rebels from interfering in airport affairs and trying to search passengers, the AP reported.

Three security guards and a rebel were among those killed, security officials said. Two other guards and an airport employee were wounded.

The powerful Houthis took Sanaa in September and later expanded their offensive to other towns and cities across the country, waging battles with rival tribesmen and also militants from Yemen’s al-Qaida branch.

Flights from Sanaa were suspended during the overnight clashes at the airport but were later back on, said the officials.

Meanwhile, thousands of Houthis and supporters of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh rallied in Sanaa on Friday, denouncing the United States over its push for sanctions against Saleh and rebel leaders. They also demanded that the American ambassador leave the country.

The US Treasury has lately imposed sanctions on Yemen’s former president and two military commanders linked to the Houthi rebels and amid a rise in anti-American protests. The sanctions were imposed after the UN Security Council last Friday added the same three men to its sanctions list for threatening the peace, security and stability of Yemen.

In Washington, the State Department said Monday it had reduced the numbers of American staff at the embassy in Yemen due to the deteriorating of situation in the country, but the embassy would remain open.