Source: Yemen Times

Dozens of armed tribesmen from Gaifah, north Rada’a district, momentarily occupied Rada’a city in Al-Baida governorate on Monday after two of their relatives were killed earlier that morning by unknown gunmen, local sources told the Yemen Times.

Salah Salim Al-Hutam and Ghazi Jumjum Al-Hutam from Gaifah tribe were killed early Monday morning in a Houthi neighborhood in Rada’a city, Fahd Al-Taweel, a local journalist in Al-Baida said. Both the deceased worked as qat sellers in the city.

Gaifah area is a major supply source of qat to the governorate, which is located in central Yemen. Residents from Gaifah work in farming and selling the leafy narcotic, which is chewed by a large portion of the Yemeni population.

A security official who requested anonymity for security concerns confirmed the names of the two deceased individuals, adding that the criminals were riding a motorbike.  

A few hours after the murders, dozens of armed tribesmen from Gaifah entered the city.

“They besieged houses of Houthi supporters, blocked main streets in the city, shut down all commercial shops, and looted an arms retail shop owned by a Houthi in the city,” said Al-Taweel.

At noon on Monday the armed tribesmen left Rada’a city without any confrontations with the security or military forces in the city.

Ali Qarmoosh, the security chief of Rada’a, said in a phone conversation with the Yemen Times that tensions are rising in the city, adding that armed men had killed another man, on Wednesday morning.

Al-Bayda has been experiencing growing insecurity since former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted from office by the 2011 uprising. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) occupied Rada’a city for two weeks in January 2012 and only left after a deal with the government to release 15 imprisoned AQAP militants.

Since early 2012, the government has carried out several military campaigns against tribesmen in Gaifah, accusing them of providing shelter for AQAP militants.

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