Written By: Abdul-Aziz Oudh
Article Date: Apr 4, 2012 - 4:52:23 PM
Eyewitnesses have confirmed that large numbers of armed tribesmen aligned with the al-Ahmar family have returned to streets in al-Hasaba, Mazda, Television and Sofan City. Large numbers of armed tribesmen have been witnessed gathering in al-Fairoz Hall and on Mazda Street. Locals said they began gathering five days ago.
According to residents, the presence of the tribesmen has caused panic in the community.
The Military Committee which was initiated in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council initially caused local residents to rejoice, is now seen by many residents to be doing nothing in response to the renewed armed presence in al-Hasaba Residents of al-Hasaba said that the tribesmen have resumed past activities such as digging trenches in the area.
One resident said the tribesmen had established “a number of new barricades in front of al-Sihab Hospital, around the Yemenia Airways building, near sheikh Abdullah’s residence, and in other areas in al-Hasaba.” Residents also said that the number of al-Ahmar-aligned militiamen has particularly increased over the last few days Others say that the tribesmen have stationed themselves on the roofs of buildings, that cars carrying armed gunmen now patrol the area around the clock, and that vehicles mounted with heavy weaponry can be regularly seen.
Many of the residents whom the Yemen Observer met with complained of the panic caused by the presence of these militias, especially so among children and women, whose movement in the area has again become very limited.
Residents complained of immoral behavior exhibited by the gunmen and of threats of beatings and death.
Workers in the area - such as grocers, wholesalers, gat sellers, motorcyclists, and bus and taxis drivers - say that they have been forced to give in to terms of the tribesmen and to do business with them at prices they impose under the threat of force.
During a tour of the area, tribesmen of a wide variety of ages – including many teenagers – were witnessed.
The return of al-Ahmar-aligned tribesmen to al-Hasaba coincides with reports that Hussein al-Ahmar is sending 800 armed men to Islah and Joint Meeting Parties sites in Arhab Province, with the aim of targeting Republican Guard camps in Al-Sama’ and al-Forijah.
It is also notable that these recent developments have come amid political and media escalation by the JMP, foremost among them the Muslim brotherhood in Yemen, defected General Ali Muhsen, and in the wake of increasing al-Qaeda activity in a number of Yemeni provinces
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