YEMEN COURT SENTENCES FOUR SHI'ITE REBELS TO DEATH
May 12, 2008: four Shi'ite rebels were sentenced to death after a Yemeni court convicted them of killing two soldiers, a court source said.
Three of the rebels were sentenced in their absence, Mahdi Dhaif Allah Shaathan Muhawish, Hamdi Ali Shaathan and Salman Ahmed Hassan. Only Ali Dhaif Allah Shaathan Muhawish was arrested. The rebels killed the soldiers when they ambushed an army patrol in 2007. Fighting in the northern province of Saada between rebels led by Abdul Malik al-Houthi and the army has flared intermittently since 2004. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands have fled their homes.
Yemeni officials say the rebels, who belong to the Zaydi sect of Shi'ite Islam, want to return to a form of clerical rule prevalent until the 1960s. (Sources: Reuters, 12/05/2008)