Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

24 November 2010

Yemen bomb attack targets Shi’a community

Yemen bomb attack targets Shi’a community

Amnesty International has condemned a bomb attack in Yemen that reportedly killed at least 17 people and injured 15 as they travelled to celebrate a Shi’a festival in the northern town of al-Zahir.

It is unclear who carried out Wednesday’s attack. According to media reports, some Yemeni officials suspect al-Qa’ida carried out the bombing.

“Whoever carried out this bomb attack appears to have been aiming to inflame tensions in Yemen’s conflict-ridden northern regions by inflicting heavy casualties on Zaidi Shi’a festival-goers,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. 

“Such attacks are absolutely prohibited under international law and show a complete disregard for the most fundamental human right, the right to life.”

The Zaidi Shi’a belong to a branch of Shi’a Islam that dominates the north of Yemen.

According to media reports, the victims were mainly members of the Zaidi Shi’a community, including a provincial tribal leader. Two of the dead were reported as being supporters of the Huthis, an armed Yemeni Zaidi Shi’a group.

Huthis, followers of Hussain Badr al-Din al-Huthi in the northern region of Sa’dah, began fighting the government in 2004 in what initially began as a protest at the US-led invasion of Iraq, but developed into an armed conflict, particularly after the killing of their leader by the government.

The Yemeni authorities agreed a ceasefire with the Huthis in February 2010. It has held since then despite intermittent reports of breaches.

Read More

Yemen abandons human rights in the name of countering terrorism (Report, 24 August 20101)

Issue

Armed Groups 

Country

Yemen 

Region

Middle East And North Africa 

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