Persecution of Non-Muslims (Yemen)

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Note that the persecution of apostates and the persecution of homosexuals are covered in separate pages

Aden’s historic Christchurch in southern Yemen is bombed on New Year’s Day, knocking out a dozen sections of the wall around the church compound and leaving two rooms of the pastor’s residence in shambles

A powerful bomb exploded at Aden’s historic Christchurch in southern Yemen in the early hours of New Year’s Day, knocking out a dozen sections of the wall around the church compound and leaving two rooms of the pastor’s residence in shambles. No one was injured in the 5:30 a.m. blast, which shattered every window on one side of the parsonage. The only occupants of the building, a couple sleeping in an upper-story bedroom on the opposite side of the building, were untouched. The pastor and his wife were abroad for their Christmas holidays at the time of the blast. The bombing of the Anglican church was one of five explosions set off in the port during the first 48 hours of 2001. None of the explosions resulted in casualties.

Islamic militant shoots and kills 3 American Christian missionaries at the Jibla Baptist Hospital in southern Yemen, family send word to the killer that they forgive him for what he did

The families and Christian colleagues of three American missionaries murdered by an Islamist militant at the Jibla Baptist Hospital in southern Yemen have sent word to the assassin that they forgive him for what he did. Close friends on the hospital staff conveyed the message through an attorney to Abed Abdul Razak Kamel, 30, the self-confessed killer. Dr. Martha Myers, hospital administrator William Koehn and purchasing agent Kathleen Gariety were shot and killed by Kamel on the morning of December 30 at the hospital compound. Kamel indicated to government interrogators that by murdering missionaries, whom he accused of converting “dozens of Muslims” to Christianity, he had insured his entrance into heaven. On December 31, hundreds of Yemenis gathered at the hospital to pay their respects to the slain missionaries, while others lined the road for a half-mile outside the hospital gates. The Christian emphasis on forgiveness was woven through the funeral “thanksgiving” service celebrated in Jibla, as well as in memorial services held later in Sanaa and in churches in the United States.

Suicide car bomber attacks a group of Spanish tourists visiting a temple in central Yemen, killing seven Spaniards and two Yemenis

A suspected al-Qaida suicide bomber plowed his car Monday into a group of Spanish tourists visiting a temple linked to the ancient Queen of Sheba, killing seven Spaniards and two Yemenis in a part of Yemen known for its lawlessness.

The attack came less than two weeks after the U.S. Embassy warned Americans to avoid the area, which until recent years was rarely visited by tourists because of frequent kidnappings of foreigners.

Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said the attacker drove into the middle of a convoy transporting the Spanish tourists, killing seven and wounding five. Two Yemenis also died, according to Yemen's Interior Ministry.

Witnesses reported seeing a car drive into the group of tourists on a road outside the site of the 3,000-year-old Queen of Sheba temple in the central province of Marib. The mangled remains of a four-wheel-drive vehicle could be seen on the side of a road, but it was unclear if the vehicle belonged to the bomber or the tourists.

The Queen of Sheba temple, which is known in Yemen by its Arabic name, Balqis, is about 85 miles east of the capital, San`a.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but authorities linked the suicide bomber to al-Qaida. Yemen is the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden, and police said they had received information last month about a possible al-Qaida attack. They did not elaborate.

The region is home to four powerful tribes with more than 70 branches and is known to be a hotbed of support for al-Qaida.

About 100 foreigners have been kidnapped in the area since the 1990s. As a result, tourists are a rare sight, and solo travelers who want to go to Marib must drive there as part of a convoy escorted by armed soldiers.

But in recent years, the area had grown calmer and some tourists looking for an off-the-beaten path adventure have begun traveling to Marib, which was the capital of Saba, or Sheba, the mightiest kingdom of ancient Arabia

Gunmen ambush and open fire on a tourist convoy in the Hadramawt region in eastern Yemen, killing two Belgian women, two Yemeni drivers and injuring a further two Belgians and one Yemeni

Gunmen opened fire on a tourist convoy on Friday afternoon in the Hadramawt region in eastern Yemen, killing two Belgian women and two Yemeni drivers, Yemeni officials said.

The attack was the first aimed at foreigners in Yemen since last summer, when a suicide car bomber attacked a group of tourists visiting a temple in central Yemen, killing eight Spaniards and two Yemenis.

The bodies were being flown back to the capital, Sana, on Friday night.

The attack took place in the Wadi Dawan district, about 180 miles east of Sana. Four gunmen waiting in a pickup truck near a speed bump along a rural road ambushed a four-car tourist convoy, said a tourism official who asked not to be identified. Two Belgians and one Yemeni were also wounded.

The attackers then fled, said Nabeel al-Faqih, Yemen’s tourism minister.

The area where the attack occurred, near a famous group of ancient multistory mud dwellings in the town of Shibam, is not considered especially dangerous. There have been kidnappings in the area, but they have subsided in recent years after a government crackdown.

Al Qaeda in Yemen has claimed a number of recent attacks, including the killing of the Spanish tourists at an ancient temple in central Yemen. In recent days Internet statements purporting to be from Al Qaeda in Yemen have issued threats.

Muslim shouts "Jew, accept the message of Islam", then guns down the brother of a rabbi. Small Jewish community terrorized by surrounding Muslims, receive deaththreats, women and children have guns pointed at them

Muslim extremists in this northern Yemeni town are still harassing the small Jewish community after one of its members was gunned down last week, a local rabbi said on Sunday.

Murder in Yemen Jew shot to death in Yemen by 'disturbed extremist' / Roee Nahmias Suspect called out 'Jew, accept Islam's message', then gunned down brother of prominent rabbi. Relative says victim and his wife planned to make aliyah but changed their minds Full Story

Rabbi Yahia Yaish bin Yahia said he felt alienated in his own village after a Jewish teacher was gunned down Thursday by a suspected Muslim extremist.

"Raydah is no longer like the old days," he told The Associated Press outside his home in the village some 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of the capital San'a. "Raydah today is full of monsters."

Bin Yahia is one of the roughly 400 remaining Jews still living in Yemen, mostly in Raydah.

Yemen was once home to about 50,000 Jews in the early 1950s, but most emigrated to Israel.
. . .
Bin Yahia, however, said Yemeni authorities have ignored complaints from the Jewish villagers about these death threats from their neighbors and described rising hostilities against the Jewish community in the village.

He said people had thrown stones at his windows and Jews walking in the streets have been threatened.

"Some have even raised their guns to our chests and necks, to our women's and children's necks," he said.

Moshe Yaish Nahari, a teacher at the village yeshiva, was gunned down on Thursday.

Deputy head of security for the province, Ahmed Yahia al-Srihi, said a suspect has been arrested and arraigned before a prosecutor.

Al-Srihi said the suspect has a criminal record and had killed his wife, and he described him as having "extremist tendencies."

According to the official investigation, seen by the AP, the man confessed to killing Nahari as a way to get "close to God."
Moshe Yaish-Nahari, the brother of a prominent rabbi in Yemen was shot to death on Thursday in Rida, Yemen, located north of the capital Sana'a, the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

Local sources said the suspected killer, Abed el-Aziz el-Abadi, a former MiG-29 pilot in Yemen's air force, has been apprehended and taken in for questioning.

Eyewitnesses told the newspaper that el-Abadi had confronted Nahari at the market in Rida, called out to him "Jew, accept the message of Islam" and then proceeded to open fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Nahari was struck by five bullets.

Suicide attack kills four South Korean tourists. The attack follows calls by leaders of al Qaeda's regional wing to attack non-Muslim foreigners in the Arabian Peninsula

Al Qaeda's wing in Yemen said it carried out the suicide attack that killed four South Korean tourists this month in retaliation for their country's ties to the U.S.-led "war on terror," according to an Internet message.

South Korea, which once had the third-largest contingent of foreign soldiers in Iraq, withdrew all of them in December. On Friday, a Korean newspaper quoted a top government official as saying Seoul had decided to send about 1,000 mainly engineering troops to Afghanistan in response to an unofficial U.S. request.

Yemen has blamed al Qaeda for the March 15 bombing that killed the four tourists and for a failed suicide attack days later against South Korean agents investigating the blast.
. . .
"Our heroic brother ... Abu Obeida al-Jarrah, carried out a martyrdom-seeking operation ... in response to South Korea's role in the war on Islam in alliance with crusader forces under the guise of a war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq," Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said in a statement on Islamist sites.
. . .

The attacks on the South Koreans followed calls by leaders of al Qaeda's regional wing to attack non-Muslim foreigners in the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam.

Government officials and relatives of the South Korean suicide bomb victims narrowly escape death themselves when a suicide bomber blows himself up on a road as their convoy passed by

A group of South Korean government officials and relatives of victims of a suicide bombing in Yemen narrowly escaped an attack themselves Wednesday in the Middle Eastern country.

A suicide bomber blew himself up on a road leading to Sana’a International Airport as the South Korean convoy passed by, police officials said.

The attack took place as the convoy was leaving the al-Dailami military base for the airport. The bomber, who was killed in the attack, had been waiting outside the gate of the base.

There were no other casualties in the attack. Police told DPA that the attacker apparently missed his target by triggering his explosive belt seconds after the convoy passed.

South Korean investigators and diplomats were in the convoy, police said.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said from Seoul that its three cars also included relatives of victims of a bombing Sunday that killed four Korean tourists and a Yemeni tour guide in south-eastern Hadhramout province.

7 Germans, a Briton and a South Korean with links to a Christian Baptist charity are abducted by Salafis during a picnic, then executed and dumped in northern Yemen. 3 children and 3 women are among the dead

A British man is believed to be among nine foreigners, including women and children, taken hostage by gunmen in Yemen while on a picnic in a remote part of the country.

Seven of those kidnapped are said to be Germans, three of them children, and two of them nurses who worked at a local hospital. A Korean woman teacher, a friend of the Briton, who is believed to be an engineer, is also among those seized.

The group, some of whom had links with a Christian Baptist charity, were last seen on Friday.
. . .

the latest kidnapping comes in the wake of a warning by the US authorities that al-Qa'ida members, under pressure in Pakistan from US Predator air strikes and a government military offensive, are relocating to new bases in Yemen.
Nine missing foreigners – including three children – in Yemen have all turned up dead, said a Yemeni official Monday, apparently executed by their kidnappers.

The nine foreigners, including seven German nationals, a Briton and a South Korean, disappeared last week while on a picnic in the restive northern Saada region of Yemen.

The bodies were found by the son of a tribal leader in Noshour, east of the volatile Saada mountainous area of northern Yemen where the nine were abducted, the official said.

The authorities had accused Shiite Zaidi rebels in Saada of seizing seven Germans, a British engineer and a South Korean woman teacher. The rebels denied the charge.

The nine – among them three German children and two women nurses – belong to an international relief group that has worked at a hospital in Saada province for 35 years, an official said Sunday.
Wahabi religious groups were involved in the kidnapping of the nine foreigners in Sa'ada last Friday, which led to three of them being found dead on Monday, according to a local source from Sa'ada who requested to remain anonymous. The group had been on an outing on a farm in Ghuraz on the outskirts of Sa'ada city on Friday. On their way home, their 4x4 Toyota was intercepted by three armed men with beards in a black Suzuki Grand Vitara.

67 Jews forced to leave the village of Al Salem after threats by Shi'ite Muslim rebels. Terrified Jews choosing to flee Yemen, with only 200 to 300 Jews left among the country's 23 million Muslims

Three more Jewish families will leave Yemen for Israel this week, according to a Yemeni rabbi who laments the dwindling of a community unnerved by threats and by the murder of a Jew last year.

A Shiite revolt in the tribal northern mountains and the growth of Sunni Islamist fervor in Yemen have made Jews uncomfortable in a land where they have deep roots.

Only 200 to 300 Jews still live among Yemen’s 23 million Muslims, mostly in the north. Rabbi Yahya Yusuf Musa, 31, told Reuters the three families were from Raida, a town about 45 miles north of the capital of San’a, where a Jew was killed in December by a Muslim compatriot who has been sentenced to death for the crime.

Last year, Musa was among 67 Jews forced to leave the village of Al Salem in the northern province of Saada after threats by Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

8 year old Jewish child kidnapped in Amran to pressure the Jewish community into forgiving a Muslim who shot dead a Jew, and accept his blood money

A Yemeni Jewish child was kidnapped from Reda district in Amran province on Saturday, informed source told media outlets.

Yameen Ameran Al-Nahari, 8 years, disappeared while the Jewish community was practicing their religious rituals on the weekend.

Sources said that the kidnapping of the child targeted to pressure the Jewish community to forgive Abdul-Aziz Al-Abdi, who shot dead a Jewish fellow citizen, Mashaa Yehiya bin Yaeesh Al-Nahari, and accept his fine in which he will pay 5.5 million riyals.

Lately, a Yemeni court upheld a death sentence on a Muslim man after being accused of killing a Jewish citizen.

Only a week after three French aid workers were released after being held hostage for more than five months, another French woman and two Yemenis working for the Red Cross are taken hostage

A Frenchwoman and two Yemenis working for the Red Cross have been taken hostage in the south of Yemen.

Local officials say suspected separatists captured the three, who had been heading to a camp for internally displaced people.

Last week, three French aid workers were released after being held hostage in Yemen for more than five months.

More than 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in Yemen over the past 15 years; most have been freed unharmed.

The trio were on their way to visit a camp for displaced people who had fled from the restive southern province of Abyan, where the army is battling Islamist militants.

Muslims shoot dead an American teacher, saying he was a Christian missionary. The attack comes only two days after an al-Qaeda gunmen abducts a Swiss woman, also a teacher at a language school

An al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility Sunday for shooting dead an American teacher in Yemen, saying he was a Christian missionary, a statement by the jihadist group said.

Fighters of Ansar al-Sharia, or Partisans of Sharia, “killed an American Christian missionary” in the city of Taez, said a statement circulated by a mobile phone message and confirmed by a source close to the group.

“The attack is in response to a Western campaign to preach for Christianity among Muslims,” it said.

Two men on a motorcycle shot and killed the merican teacher in the Yemeni city of Taez, south of the capital Sana’a, on Sunday morning, a local police source said.

The source said a gunman riding on the motorcycle driven by an accomplice shot the English-language teacher as he was heading to work. . The victim ,who was the deputy director of a Swedish language center in the city 270 kilometers (173 miles) southwest of Sana’a, was shot dead in his car in the neighborhood of Sena.

The U.S. embassy in Sana’a said it did not have information about the killing and was investigating.

The attack comes two days after an official said suspected al-Qaeda gunmen abducted a Swiss woman, also a teacher at a language school, in the Red Sea port of Hodeida and moved her to the restive Shabwa province further east.

Jewish community leader is stabbed to death at a Sanaa market by a Muslim after accusing him of "witchcraft". Authorities move Jews from Saada to a safer neighborhood near the US embassy

A Jewish community leader in Yemen was stabbed to death at a Sanaa market on Tuesday by a Muslim assailant who accused him of witchcraft.

Harun Yusuf Zindani, 50, was attacked at Saawan market near the US embassy in northeast Sanaa, according to his son, Yehya. The victim, who was stabbed in the neck and stomach, was taken to the hospital and later died of his wounds.

Yehya said the attacker was a “well-known person who says my father has ruined him and cast a spell on him."

The Jewish community in Yemen numbered some 60,000 in 1948, but had shrunk significantly in the years following the establishment of the State of Israel.

The community continued to dwindle in subsequent decades and by the early 1990s it numbered only around 1,000 people. The elimination of a longstanding travel ban in 1993 sparked a fresh exodus.

Today, barely 300 Jews remain in the Asian country.

Zindani was originally from the northern province of Saada, where Zaidi Shiite rebels fought a bloody war against former strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime.

Since 2007, authorities have moved members of the Jewish community from Saada to a safer neighborhood in the capital near the US embassy.