1000s of Yemenis attend funeral of slain Houthi MP


Tens of thousands of Yemenis have attended the funeral procession for Houthi lawmaker Abdul Karim Jadban in the capital Sana’a.

On Tuesday, Jadban’s body was carried by his Houthi supporters to Sana’a’s airport and flown to the northwestern province of Sa’da for burial.

Jadban was a prominent Houthi lawmaker and the leading politician representing the Shia Houthi community in the national dialog, currently underway in the Arab country.

He was gunned down by armed men on a motorbike as he was coming out of a mosque on November 22.

The assassination came just weeks after deadly clashes between Houthi fighters and Saudi-backed Salafi militants in the town of Dammaj.

Yemen’s Shia Houthi movement draws its name from the tribe of its founding leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.

The conflict between the government of ousted dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi fighters in northern Yemen began in 2004 and ended when a truce was reached in 2010.

In August 2009, the Saleh regime launched Operation Scorched Earth to uproot the Houthi resistance fighters, whom Sana’a had accused of seeking a return to the Zaydi imamate overthrown in a 1962 coup.

In November 2009, Saudi forces also started fighting against the Houthis and bombing their positions after accusing the fighters of killing Saudi border guards.

The Houthis, who control parts of the north and are engaged in reconciliation talks with Sana’a, accuse the government of violating their civil rights and marginalizing them politically, economically, and religiously.

Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years, stepped down in February 2012 under a US-backed power transfer deal in return for immunity, after a year of mass street demonstrations demanding his ouster.

His vice president, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, replaced him on February 25, 2012 following a single-candidate presidential election backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The Houthi movement played a key role in the popular revolution that forced Saleh to step down.

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