Ashura Commeration in Sanaa ,Yemen after 50 years Ban , Targetted by a Bomb Blast , Martyring 3 Shia Men

JNN 26 Nov 2012 SANAA: At least three Shia Muslims were Martyred on Saturday in a bomb attack targeting the first public commemoration of the anniversary of the death of a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the Yemeni capital in half a century.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but al Qaeda and its affiliates, comprising Wahabi  militants, have targeted Shias in the past. While the US Drone strikes have also been a routine since the Ouster of the US and Saudi Backed Ali Abdullah Saleh, who have Banned the commeration of all the Shia Religious Ceremonies , including the Ashura and others.

Medics and local officials said 13 other people were also wounded in the attack on a hall where the Shias were leaving the ceremony in Sanaa after the Ashura rituals which recall the death of Imam Hussein (a.s), the Grandson of the Prophet Muhammad , in Iraq in the year 680 AD.

“Fourteen people were brought to hospital, and three of them have died,” one medic at the Saudi German Hospital told Reuters.

A statement issued by the Houthis, a Shia armed group based in northern Yemen, said the attackers also sprayed the crowd with gunfire and fled.

“We condemn this attack and consider the safety of Yemeni citizens the responsibility of the so-called national unity government,” the statement said.

Yemeni Shias, who follow the Zaydi creed, have gained strength in Sanaa since President Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to step down following an uprising against his 33 years in office earlier this year. Saleh kept the rebels in check in northern Yemen, launching repeated campaigns against them.

Ashura rituals, which in other countries also involve Chest Beating and Crying to express deep sorrow over the death of Imam Hussein, have been banned in Yemen since the 1,000-year Zaydi Imamate rule was overthrown in a coup in 1962.

Analysts and diplomats say the ascent of the Houthis has turned Yemen into a new front in a long struggle between Iran and Western powers, centred on a nuclear programme that Israel and the West say is aimed at making atomic weapons. Iran denies those charges.


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