10 Yemen rebels to die over deadly clashes
A Yemeni court yesterday sentenced 10 Shia 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 AFP 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.
Tuesday'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 Shia 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.
In recent months, the court has sentenced a further 10 rebels to death on similar charges.