International watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned Wednesday the Houthis’ attacks against protesters in Yemen.
The group claimed Houthi forces used unnecessary lethal force against demonstrators in Taizz and al-Turbba on 24 March, in which reportedly at least seven people were killed, and more than 83 others injured.
According to HRW, daily protests have been calling on Houthis to cease using Taizz as a base for military operations on southern Yemen, which started on 22 March.
HRW quoted several witnesses saying that Houthi fighters and government security forces fired without warning on a crowd of at least 1,000 protesters, killing or fatally injuring at least four and wounding more than 70 others. A similarly mixed force, including snipers, would have opened fire on about 100 demonstrators in Al-Turbba, a town 70 km from Taizz, killing three and wounding at least 10 others, according to the witnesses.
Saudi Arabia launched an attack on Yemen and controlled its flying zone, on Thursday 26 March, as Houthi rebel groups called for forming an army to fight Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and his government. The attacks have left hundreds of civilians dead, according to aid agencies reports.
On Monday, Almasirah TV channel, owned by Houthis, reported five civilians killed in new raids launched by Saudi Arabia and the United States, and other attacks in the city of Saa’da.
It also said the armed forces of Yemen and the public committees managed to besiege Al-Qaeda troops in southern Yemen (AQAP) and to secure the Gulf of Aden.
The Gulf of Aden and nearby strait Bab Al-Mandab is a key trade route connecting oil producing countries in the Gulf to Europe and the United States.
Heavy fighting near the port of Aden has killed dozens during clashes between Houthi and allied army units and the loyalists of President Hadi over the past days.
The situation in Aden is meanwhile deteriorating further, with water and electricity still being cut, and the supply routes largely interrupted, prompting a serious humanitarian crisis.
On the 1April the Houthis posted on their social media channels several photos for hundreds of protesters rallying in the capital Sana’a, whom they claimed were protesting against the airstrikes of Saudi Arabia.
A Houthi leader previously told Daily News Egypt that his group is ready to challenge foreign intervention, claiming that Yemenis stand united. “The people in Yemen now are all angered and ready to counter this intervention,” he said.
He added that the Saudi-led air strikes are “not successful at all”, and merely “killing women and children”.