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Monday, December 7, 2009     GET REAL

Shi'ite rebels in Yemen claim they destroyed three U.S.-origin Saudi tanks

CAIRO — The Shi'ite rebel movement in Yemen has reported the destruction of three main battle tanks of the Royal Saudi Army.  

For its part, Saudi Arabia has reported the capture of Shi'ite rebels and proxies. Saudi officials reported the capture of 821 Yemenis and Africans in the southern part of the kingdom over the last two weeks.

Yemeni military sources assert that 10 fighters from the Iranian-backed Believing Youth surrendered to the Yemeni Army, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the 10 included two field commanders who offered to join the army.


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"The rebels said they wanted to repent and join the government," a military source said.

The surrender was said to have taken place on Dec. 4 in Harf Sufyan, scene of the most intense battles between the Shi'ite rebels and the Yemeni military. The field commanders who surrendered were identified as Fares Nasser Al Shahwani and Jamil Al Shahwani.

The Believing Youth has dismissed the Yemeni report. The rebels said they destroyed three U.S.-origin MBTs along the Yemeni border on Dec. 4.

The MBT was not identified. Earlier, Saudi sources said the army was using the U.S.-origin M1A2 Abrams, the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and Humvee combat vehicle.

On Dec. 5, the rebels also reported Saudi air and artillery strikes in the border areas of Mount Doud, Mount Dukhan and Husama. The rebels were said to have used these areas for infiltration of the Saudi border.

The capture was facilitated by the new Saudi border surveillance system along the Yemeni frontier. Riyad has also established a 10-kilometer no-go zone.



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