Dec 2, 2011
Tribal sources revealed that al-Houthis rebels attacked a Sunni Islamist school and other sites in Dammaj, a district of the Yemeni northern province of Sa’ada, killing an estimated 21 people and wounding about 50 others.
It is believed that amongst the victims were American, French and Indonesian nationals who had come to the area to study.
A provincial security official and local Sunnis told foreign news agencies that the Shi’ite Zaidi rebels known as al-Houthis shelled Sunni targets in Dammaj district on Saturday and Sunday.
They stressed that amongst several targets the group aimed directly at a school run by the Salafists, a group of fervent Sunni Muslims who promotes a more traditional practice of Islam.
The Shi’ite sect which dominates the Sa’ada province has always considered the Salafists as authority, fearing that they would extend their zone of influence and eventually jeopardize al-Houthi’s hegemony plans. Recent clashes have prompted local tribesmen to try to secure a truce.