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#Yemen: Houthi Militias Abduct 55 #Dhamar Locals, Including #Children

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Hadramout21:Asharq Al-Awsat

Iranian-backed Houthi militias stormed Yemen’s al-Qadm village, in the district of Atma west of Dhamar province, where they abducted some 55 people, including children under the age of 12

The captives were transferred from the Houthi-run central prison to unknown locations

Atma locals said that they do not know the whereabouts of their captive children and that Houthi militias bear full responsibility for their fate

Atma witnessed a state of tension and conflict since battles for the country’s western coastal Hodeidah province erupted

The first anti-Houthi popular movement, led by Sheikh Abdulwahab Muawadah, sprung from Atma in 2015. Muawadah later joined the internationally-recognized government in Aden

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According to Muawadah, popular resistance leader in Dhamar, the campaign of arrests came after villagers rejected Houthi requests to recruit children and dispatch them to west coast battlefronts

Their rejection forced the Houthis to bring in military troops to forcefully recruit the children, leading to armed clashes that left one militant dead. The Houthis brought in reinforcements to cordon off some of the Atma villages and carry out a wave of arrests

Muawadah told Asharq Al-Awsat that the militias kidnapped 55 citizens in Atma, burned three houses, destroyed many farms and looted private property

He explained that the Houthis set their sights on Atma because they are fully aware that its residents oppose the militias and refuse to fight among their ranks

Dhamar province, with the exception of some districts, categorically rejects child recruitment as well, he revealed

“The locals are impatiently waiting the order to liberate Dhamar” from Houthi clutches, Muawadah said 

“They are carefully monitoring progresses made by the Yemeni army and popular resistance forces in the west coast battles and the province’s east”

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