Sanaa: A Yemeni court today sentenced 10
Shiite Zaidi rebels to death and another five to 15 years in
prison each over deadly clashes near the capital in 2008 that
killed hundreds of people.
The special court in Sanaa convicted the 15 for
"associating with an armed group for criminal purposes,"
"creating an organised terrorist group" and "(armed)
resistance to the authorities."
All of the defendants were in court when the sentences
were handed down, and they greeted the decision by chanting
rebel slogans such as "Death to America", "Death to Israel",
"A curse on the Jews," and "Victory for Islam."
A defence lawyer told that an appeal had been lodged
on behalf of two members of the group, but that the 13 others
refused to appeal on the grounds that they did not recognise
the court`s legitimacy.
Today`s convictions come as the country`s armed forces
continue Operation Scorched Earth, launched on August 11 in
the mountainous north and aimed at eradicating the rebels,
also known as Huthis.
On Saturday the same court sentenced another two Shiite
rebels to death for taking part in gun battles against
security forces last year near the capital. Nine others
received between eight and 12 years in jail.