Houthi rebels blamed for attempted assassination of Yemeni tribal leader

Houthi rebels blamed for attempted assassination of Yemeni tribal leader
A prominent Yemeni tribal leader who has been the target of multiple attempted killings survived another assassination attempt, blamed on Iran-backed Houthis.
2 min read
17 September, 2021
Oil-rich Marib has witnessed intense fighting in recent months [Getty]

A prominent tribal leader survived an assassination attempt on Thursday in eastern Yemen upon his return from Saudi Arabia. Local forces have blamed Iranian-backed Houthi rebels for the attack.

Ali Hassan bin Gharib Al-Shabwani, a leading figure of the Ubaidah tribe in Marib, survived the attempted killing after a car bombing targeted his convoy, local media reported.

Al-Shabwani was not injured in the explosion, with only material damage being reported to one of his vehicles, unnamed sources told Arabi21 in a statement.

While no side has claimed responsibility for the attack, sources have accused the Iran-backed Houthis of being involved.

Al-Shabwani had allegedly survived another assassination attempt in June when his home in Wadi Ubaida - just east of the flashpoint city of Marib - was targeted in a rocket attack.

A similar attack on another of his homes in 2020 also failed.

Houthi militants have in recent months intensified their attacks on oil-rich Marib, which is the final bastion of the internationally recognised government in north Yemen.

Dozens of Houthi rebels have been killed in Marib this week alone as the militia stepped up their offensive in the area, a Yemeni military official has said.

The rebels were killed in intense fighting with Yemeni government troops as airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition hit flashpoint areas outside of the city of Marib, Saudi outlet Arab News reported.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when the Houthis took control over many areas in the country's north, including the capital Sanaa.

A US-backed, Saudi-led coalition entered the war in 2015 to support the Yemeni government and restore President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to his position of power.