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Yemeni authorities order curfew in Sanaa after Houthi rebels seize TV building

September 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm

The Yemeni Interior Ministry ordered on Saturday a partial curfew in several neighbourhoods in the capital Sanaa after gunmen affiliated with the Shia Houthi rebels took control of the Yemen TV station.

Anadolu news agency reported a statement issued by the Ministry saying “the curfew starts Saturday evening from 9:00 pm until 6:00 am until further notice in the neighbourhoods of Shamlan, Mathbah, Dhahban and Dilaa village north of Sanaa where the ministry conducts a number of military and security operations”.

The statement called on citizens to “respect the ministry’s orders and stay at home during the specified periods to ensure their own safety”.

The Yemeni TV‘s broadcast is reported to have been disrupted for nearly half an hour before it resumed broadcast from an alternative headquarters, a source told Anadolu correspondent.

Earlier in the day, the TV broadcasted a message saying “Houthi militants have resumed shelling the TV building with heavy weapons for the third consecutive day” noting that several workers were injured during the attack while the Houthi gunmen did not allow ambulances to enter the TV premises.

The TV headquarters caught fire yesterday after being bombed.

The TV workers appealed in a message to Defence Minister, Mohammed Nasser Ahmed to speed up sending military reinforcements to the TV headquarters to protect the workers there.

Meanwhile, the Houthi group did not issue a response to the accusations for the third consecutive day.

Meanwhile, the United Nations envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar called Friday on the conflicting parties to “immediately cease all acts of violence in the capital Sanaa” and urged them to “act wisely and in the best interest of the country”.

Benomar said after returning from Sadaa where he held talks with Houthi leader, Abdul-Malik al- Houthi that he tried to “bridge the gap between the different parties, and we agreed on a set of points to establish an agreement between the parties concerned based on the results of the national dialogue conference”, adding: “However, after the talks ended late Thursdaynight, the security situation in Sanaa has surprisingly deteriorated, and I very much regret the occurrence of these developments and the use of weapons at a time when we are trying to do our best in order to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis”.

Yemen President, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said during his meeting yesterday with the ambassadors of ten countries sponsoring the Gulf initiative that there were “attempts to escalate the security situation and stage a coup to overthrow the government, which was made clear by the recent upsurge”.

Shia Houthi rebels have been staging protests and sit-ins at the entrances of Sanaa demanding among other issues, the government’s resignation.