Written By: Yemen Observer Staff
Article Date: Nov 27, 2011 - 11:21:25 PM
Houthi rebels have attacked a Sunni Islamist school and other sites in Dammaj district of province of Saada province in the north of Yemen, killing at least 21 people and wounding about 50 others, said tribal sources
The sources said that some American, French and Indonisian nationals were among those who were killed in Dammaj district.
A provincial security official and local Sunnis told foreign news agencies that the Shi'ite Zaidi rebels known as Houthis shelled Sunni targets in Dammaj district on Saturday and Sunday. They say the targets included a school run by the Sunni Islamist Salafi sect.
The Shi'ite Zaidi sect dominates the Saada region and sees the Salafis as a threat. Militants from both sides have fought each other in recent weeks, prompting local tribesmen to try to secure a truce.
Yemen vice president names Basindwa as interim prime minister
Yemen's Vice-President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi has named Mohammed Basindwa, as interim prime minister on Sunday.
A decree carried by state media said Mr. Basindwa a senior opposition leader was charged with forming a national reconciliation government ahead of early elections on February 21.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh transferred his powers to Vice President Hadi under a deal to end months of impasse that harmed Yemen’s economic, political and social life.
Meanwhile President Saleh has offered an amnesty to those who "committed errors during the crisis".
In his speech to the meeting of the General People congress party and alliance parties president Saleh offered amnesty to all those committed errors during the 9 month crisis.
The amnesty did not extend to those involved in crimes or those involved in an assassination attempt against him in June in which he was badly wounded and sozens of officials were wounded or killed including speaker of the Shura council Abdul Aziz Abdulghani who died in Riyadh sustaining injuries from the assassination attempt.
Opposition spokeswoman Hurriya Mashhud rejected the amnesty declaration, saying it went against the Gulf Co-operation Council-brokered agreement Mr Saleh signed last week.
Mr. Basindwa was put forward by opposition parties on Friday as their choice to be interim prime minister.
Yemen has scheduled early presidential elections for February 21, 2012, in line with a power-sharing deal aimed at ending a nine-month political crisis, according to the country's official news agency.
A republican decree was indorsed on Saturday by the vice president Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi calling on voters for the early presidential elections set to be on February 16.
The decree also denoted that the current elections commission is eligible to run the elections and according to the current voters lists that were rejected by the opposition for the past 5 years.
The U.S.-backed Gulf Arab proposal signed Wednesday in the Saudi capital Riyadh calls for Saleh to pass power to his deputy within 30 days, after a new government sworn in by the vice president passes a law protecting Saleh and his associates from prosecution. Presidential elections also are to be held within 90 days, well ahead of the original date in 2013.
It came after months of resistance by the leader of 33 years despite massive protests calling for him to step down. Saleh had agreed to sign the deal at least three previous times only to back out at the last minute.
Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said Saturday that the vote will be held on Feb. 21 and no party has the right to annul or change the decree. He made the announcement after Saleh gave him ``the constitutional authorities to carry out dialogue with the parties that signed the Gulf initiative.''
Meanwhile warplanes killed scores of anti-government tribesmen and jihadists who had overrun part of a military camp in the Bani Hushaish district north of the capital on Saturday.
Local sources said that warplanes and artillery had pounded the armed tribesmen and Islamic militias for the past two days.
Sources also said that the army reinforced the military site by dropping paratroopers on Thubab mount on Saturday night.
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