Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Dec 2, 2011 - 7:30:15 PM
Fighting between al-Houthi rebels and Sunni Islamists Salafis wounded at least 26 people in north Yemen on Wednesday, as the new prime minister worked to form a government under GCC initiative to avoid civil war by ensuring a peaceful power transition.
The deal adopted by GCC envisions a government chaired by opposition parties that lead 10 months of protests.
President Saleh signed the GCC brokered deal that was backed by UNSC last week and transferred powers to his vice president Hadi, a step the plan's sponsors said will help end the impasse Yemen has slid into during the past 10 months of unrest.
One of the country's multiple, overlapping regional conflicts flared anew when Houthis ‘ a Shi'ite Muslim sect’ fighters who have rebelled in a northern province along the Saudi border attacked Salafis ‘a Sunni Islamic sect’ whom they have fought over the last week.
A group of Yemeni Salafis -- Sunnis who hold a puritanical creed with followers in Saudi Arabia -- said fighters from the rebel Shi'ite Houthi movement attacked early on Wednesday in Damaj, 150 km (90 miles) north of the capital Sanaa.
A spokesperson of Salafis in Sa’adah province said several students of Dar al-Hadith religious school had been injured in shelling. His group said at least 25 people were killed in Houthi shelling in Dammaj district of Sa’ada province on Saturday and Sunday.
Local sources from Sa’ada said that over 500 Algerian students studying in Dar al-Hadith and their families stranded and could not go back to their country or even have communication with their families back in Algeria.
The sources said that the Algerian students could not even communicate with their embassy in Sana’a because the Algerian authorities did not know about them.
Houthis have accused the Salafis in Sa’adah of working to build military encampments near the Saudi border.
The escalations came as Yemen's interim prime minister Mohammed Basindwah, a former foreign minister who joined the opposition, worked to form a transitional government that he has said will be set in days.
Sources in the opposition said talks with the ruling party were underway on forming a security committee tasked in part with separating the forces of Saleh's partisans and defected army troopers and Islamist militias and tribal fighters affiliated to Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar who have fought in the capital.
In the south the Yemeni wing of al-Qaeda known as the AQAP fears are arose that AQAP could find a foothold, an older political conflict also overshadows the Gulf plan.
Members of MAWJ a secessionist movement who want to undo the territorial union that Saleh presided over in 1990 marched through the southern port of Aden on Wednesday, carrying flags of the former South Yemen, a socialist republic.
The march, which commemorated the 44th anniversary of the south's independence from Britain, reflected the antipathy many southerners feel over the region's treatment under union, which erupted into civil war in 1994.
Tens of thousands have been displaced from the southern Abyan province due to fighting between AQAP who have seized several districts of Aban province and Yemeni forces.
Nearly a year of political unrest has deepened the poverty ratio. A U.N. official said on Tuesday that millions of people were facing a humanitarian crisis.
U.N. assistant secretary-general and deputy emergency relief coordinator Catherine Bragg, after a visit to Yemen, warned of "some of the world's highest malnutrition rates, a breakdown of essential services and a looming health crisis."
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