By National Yemen Team
Yemeni authorities offered 32 million YR and 100 guns as compensation to victims’ families as a result of Air raid that took place in Qaifah in the al-Baida governorate, leaving 25 killed and wounded last Thursday.
The announcement came hours after a source’s announcement of High Security Committee that the air raid was aimed at a car belonging to one of al-Qaeda’s leaders with a number of al-Qaeda’s members inside it. Those members are considered among the most dangerous leaders behind recent terrorist operations targeting men in the armed and security forces, citizens, installations and the vital interests of the country, according to the source. Local sources, however, have denied that those targets were among the victims.
The compensation is being offered following an airstrike that took place on 12 December on a wedding procession in Qaifah, leading to the death of 15. Eleven of this number were killed immediately, their bodies charred and torn into pieces beyond recognition. Three were killed while being taken to Rada city. Eleven others were injured and also taken to Rada city, among them Sheikhs of the al-Awamer and al-Taues tribes, Sheikh Abdullah al-Tesai and Sheikh Ali Abdullah al-Ameri.
The compensation for the victims’ families was offered after the intervention of tribal mediation. The mediation team consisted of Sheikhs from Rada after dozens of gunmen from the Qaifah tribes entered Rada city carrying bodies of those killed in the strike. The gunmen met near Rada’s primary Court, then blockaded the main street, forcing shop owners to close their shops as well.
The Mediation Committee was led by Sheikh Mohammed Nasser al-Thaiev, Sheikh Ali Saleh al-Tiri, Sheikh Qaúd al-htam, Sheikh Salim Sarhani, and Sheikh Zabin Allah Krish. They convinced victims’ families to open the street and bury the victims after giving them two cars, two janbya and two Kalashnikov pieces, the common “blood price” in tribal tradition in order to open the street, bury the victims, and give a chance to a mediation committee to contact concerned parties in the state.
On 13 December, 11 victims were buried in Rada Cemetery while four of the victims were buried in Yecla region.
On the same day, the mediation committee traveled to Sana’a to meet with a number of officials, returning the next morning to Rada city with al-Bayda governor Shaddadi and Commander of the Seventh Military Region Major General Ali Mohsen Muthanna to deliver the arbitration result to victims’ families.
A member of the mediation committee, Sheikh Mohammed Nasser al-Thaiev, explained to Mareb Press that victims’ families agreed to the State’s arbitration, which provided 100 guns for dead people’s families and 32 million YR for both dead and wounded, two million for each dead person and ten thousand each for wounded people.
The arbitration was submitted through a meeting held on Saturday afternoon, 14December. The meeting included al-Bayda governor Shaddadi, the Commander of the Seventh Military Region, Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen Muthanna, the mediation committee and victims’ families who are from al-tayus and Amer tribes in Qaifah area.
The victims’ families accepted the arbitration, also demanding an end to flyovers in Kifah airspace, saying that it’s not the first time in which innocent victims have died in an airstrike. Governor Shaddadi and the Commander of the Seventh Region joined their voice to the voice of the victims’ families, demanding to transfer this request to higher authorities.
Through the meeting, Governor Shaddadi and the Commander of the Seventh Region expressed their deep regret for losing innocent lives in the air raid that targeted the wedding procession last Thursday, emphasizing their solidarity with victims’ families.
The governor Shaddadi said to victims’ families that “we came to you as comforters and arbitrators to convey condolences represented by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. He recalled in his remarks the honorable attitudes of Qaifah’s people through the history, calling them to preserve their oriental history by refusing any actions outside of the law or system. Shaddadi added that the security forces would not stand handcuffed in front of the abusers for the security and stability of the region.
Commander of the Seventh Region Muthanna praised the efforts of the mediation committee and Sheikh Mohammed Nasser al-Thaiev, Sheikh Ali Saleh al-Tiri, Sheikh Qaúd al-htam, Sheikh Salim Sarhani, and Sheikh Zabin Allah Krish at its head. Muthanna spoke to the victims’ families, as well, saying, “we came to you as supporters and with deep sadness for what happened.”
In the Mediation Committee, a tribal source emphasized the withdrawal of the armed protesters from Rada’s main street after receiving the arbitration, while a number of gunmen refused to withdraw and continued to block the street. This led to clashes and damage to the security point commander’s car, and then machine gun exchange between soldiers and Rada gunmen. The fighting stopped yesterday.
Hundreds of tribal gunmen flocked to Rada city on Friday morning, carrying personal weapons, machine guns, RPG missiles, and other medium-weapons. They then closed the road leading to the door of the government complex in the center of the city as well as the road leading to the headquarters of the public security and special security forces, or “the former central security.”
Protesters lifted slogans and banners decrying the intervention of the U.S. in Yemen through air raids that target innocent civilians, pointing out that this was not the first attack in which innocent civilians victims were killed in the region. A similar incident took place in September of last year, when a drone targeted a civilian car from al-Sabol in Kifah and more than 12 civilians, including women and children were killed. The victim’s families of that attack were given 15 million riyals and 100 guns as compensation.