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Yemen Shiite rebels rout Islamist-allied general

AP , Monday 22 Sep 2014
Libya
Shi'ite Houthi rebels ride an army vehicle they took from the compound of the army's First Armoured Division in Sanaa September 22, 2014. (Photo:Reuters)
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Security officials say a Yemeni Shiite militia has occupied the headquarters and house of a powerful army general allied to Sunni Islamists and is setting up checkpoints across the capital after sweeping across the city.

The Monday move against Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar consolidates the Hawthi rebels' grip over Sanaa after a week of deadly battles. The group seized a series of key state buildings in Sanaa in recent days but later handed most over to the military police.

Al-Ahmar is currently on the run, officials say, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

On Sunday, Hawthis signed a deal that gave them unprecedented influence in the presidency and over the Cabinet.

Yemeni medical officials say 200 more bodies have been retrieved from the streets of the capital, Sanaa, bringing to 340 the death toll from a week of fierce clashes between Hawthi Shiite rebels on one side and Sunni militiamen and army troops on the other.

The officials say many of the bodies were decomposed after being left for days in the streets and the heat as ambulances could not reach them amid intense fighting.

The officials spoke on Monday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.

Resident Ahmed al-Hamdani says he saw Red Crescent staff carrying away bodies from the street he lives on. He says some "were torn, with no limbs," a testimony to the intensity of the fighting.

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