GERTZ: CAIRO — TheShi'ite revolt in Yemen has expanded, security sources said.
The Yemeni sources said fighting has intensified between the Yemen Army and the Iranian-backed Believing Youth movement in January. The sources said the military has been using aircraft and artillery to strike Shi'ite rebel positions in the northern province of Saada.
"Such a war will have adverse effects on the country on military, economic and social levels," Shi'ite rebel leader Abdul Malik Al Houthi said.
The Shi'ite revolt, renewed in December 2007, marked the third round of fighting between Iranian-backed rebels and the Sanaa government. The fighters were said to have attacked Yemeni military bases and government installations in Saada, located near the border with Saudi Arabia.
The fighting, which shattered a June 2007 ceasefire, has forced hundreds of people to flee their homes. Most of those who fled came from the Haidan district in Saada.
Sanaa has declared a state of emergency in Saada. Authorities were said to have imposed a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. throughout the province.
The military has used Russian-origin MiG-29 fighter-jets to strike Haidan. The sources said air attacks were heavy over the weekend.
"The military attacked the area with missiles and artillery, destroying tens of houses and farms," Abu Akram, identified as a Shi'ite rebel, said.
Abu Akram said the Shi'ite revolt was renewed on Dec. 27 when Yemeni authorities stopped a Shi'ite religious celebration. He said scores of Al Houthi supporters were arrested.