Shiite rebels in Yemen, who control the capital Sanaa, closed the strategic Hodeida port on the Red Sea and stormed into the building of the country’s main state newspaper Wednesday, The Associated Press (AP) reported. The rebels reportedly did not allow the director of Yemen's second-largest port to enter his office while they also ousted Faisal Makram, the editor-in-chief of al-Thawra newspaper on corruption charges.
The port was seized by Houthi rebels in October, who replaced the port governor with their ally, AP reported. Meanwhile, Yemen's information ministry said that al-Thawra's headquarters in Sanaa was raided by the rebels “to manipulate editorial policy," AP reported, citing SABA, Yemen’s official news agency. However, SABA did not openly name Shiite Houthis, who control several major cities in Yemen. The agency called the invasion a "blatant assault" and a "grave violation of the freedom of the press," AP reported.
Earlier on Tuesday, two car bombs exploded in Radaa city in Yemen’s central al-Bayda province, killing at least 25 people, among whom 15 were school children. The first car bomb exploded near a checkpoint guarded by Shiite Houthi rebels, when a bus carrying school children was passing the point, Reuters reported. The second explosion, which killed 10 people, occurred at the house of an official, who reportedly supported Houthis.
Radaa city has been the stronghold of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which considers the Shia community as heretics, and Houthis as people supported by Iran, Reuters reported.
Last week, three explosions occurred outside a Shiite leader’s home in Sanaa, injuring at least eight people. Last Thursday, al Qaeda’s Yemen faction also fired rockets at the U.S. section of the country’s largest military base, in retaliation to the rescue mission conducted by Washington to free Luke Somers, who was killed by the group along with another South African hostage.