Security authorities in Yemen’s central city of Marib have dismantled a Houthi cell responsible for plotting assaults against military and civilian facilities and assassinating security and military officers in the city, Yemen’s Ministry of Interior said on Tuesday.
The cell was made up of eight people with ties to the Houthis, some of whom were caught placing improvised explosive devices along a road in Marib, targeting security and military officers, the ministry said in a statement.
Two members confessed in a five-minute video released by the ministry to planting IEDs inside an oil plant and blowing up another at a pickup driven by a military officer, claiming that Houthi figures trained them on how to plant and denote explosive devices and paid them SR2,000 ($533) for each mission.
The ministry said the confessions revealed that a Houthi leader named Ahmed Ali Al-Amer controls the cell and trains its members in using the explosives, while another Houthi figure named Majed Al-Deraq was responsible for transporting the explosives from Sanaa to Marib.
Abdul Razaq Hassan Dawood, a member of the cell, confessed to planting an IED in Marib to kill a military officer and claimed that the Houthis took advantage of his poverty to recruit him.
Dawood said he only carried out one mission for the Houthis after being instructed to plant an IED and was paid for it as “neither I nor my children could afford to purchase clothing.”
Yemeni officials have long accused Houthi cells of planting landmines and IEDs as well as carrying out drive-by shootings that have killed dozens of military and security personnel in Marib.
Moammer Al-Eryani, Yemen’s information minister, said the Houthi cell attempted to undermine security and stability in the city of Marib, which has been a safe haven for over 2 million people who have escaped fighting or Houthi repression.
In a tweet, Al-Eryani referred to the dismantling of the cell as “a security achievement” and “new evidence of the militia’s terrorism and bloodshed.”
Meanwhile, security forces in the eastern province of Mahra have announced the arrest of a Daesh intelligence official from Syria. The officer, identified as Obeid Al-Razaj (alias Abu Danieh Al-Suri), worked as a truck driver in the province under the pseudonym Ahmed Anwar Al-Akaf.