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Iran Press TV

Al-Qaeda claims assassination of top Houthi member

Iran Press TV

Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:39PM

A branch of al-Qaeda in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the assassination of a senior member of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement in the capital city of Sana'a.

The so-called Ansar al-Sharia militant group, the main al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, issued a statement on Thursday on Twitter, saying two of its members on motorcycles opened fire on Abdul Karim al-Khiwani near his home in the center of Sana'a on Wednesday and fled the scene.

The Houthi official was transferred to hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

Khiwani, a top journalist and a respected writer, was a member of the Ansarullah movement's Revolutionary Committee in charge of administering affairs in the capital.

He was awarded in 2008 the Amnesty International Special Award for Human Rights Journalism.

Amnesty International regretted the 'despicable killing of a leading journalist and activist' and called for an investigation into the matter. The rights group also said Khiwani had a history of being harassed for his 'outspoken journalism and peaceful activism.'

Over the past months, al-Qaeda militants have frequently carried out attacks on Yemen's security forces. The militants have been also engaged in battles with the Ansarullah fighters.

Yemen's central government has so far failed in efforts to rid the Arabian Peninsula country of the threats posed by the militants.

Ansarullah fighters, who played a major role in ousting Yemen's former dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, have intervened to fill the vacuum and have driven al-Qaeda militants out of many areas in the Arab country.

SSM/KA/SS



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