Yemen’s president has fired two senior army commanders after last week’s capture of a city by Shiite Hawthi rebels, state television reported.
The TV report said President Abed Rabo Mansour Hadi issued decrees removing Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Someli and Maj. Gen. Mohammed Ali al-Maqdishi.
The report late Saturday gave no reason for their removal. However, it comes after Shiite Hawthi rebels took the northeastern city of Amran last week. They had been fighting against conservative Sunnis from one of the country’s largest tribes backed by a local army unit.
The United Nations Security Council on Friday demanded the immediate withdrawal of the rebels and all other armed groups involved in the fighting.
Hawthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam has said the rebels will withdraw from the city.
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry said Hadi met Saturday with the ministry’s senior officials and instructed that Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Abdou Hussein el-Terb’s powers be curtailed.
The ministry’s security media center said Deputy Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Ali Nasser al-Akhshaa will be in charge of supervising all security agencies in the capital, Sanaa.
The center did not give a reason for the new assignment. Al-Terb is known to be close to the country’s Muslim Brotherhood group, the Islah party.
The Interior Ministry said tribesmen in the southern province of Marib blew up on Saturday an oil pipeline, cutting off oil from the Red Sea export terminal.
The same pipeline was blown up in May, allegedly by the relatives of two al-Qaida militants who were killed by security forces earlier in the month.
Pipelines carrying oil and gas to coastal terminals in Yemen’s mostly lawless south have been repeatedly attacked by al-Qaida militants and tribes with whom they have ties. Yemeni officials also suspect tribesmen allied with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.