TAIZ – Militants led by an officer called Ghazwan al-Makhlafi have attacked a popular market in the city of Taiz on Saturday, sparking limited confrontations between the militants loyal to Ghazwan and the coalition-backed militias charged to guard the market. This was confirmed by Yemen Press Agency based on security sources.
According to the sources, Ghazwan’s militants launched an attack on militias loyal to the Saudi-led invaders that were protecting Ashbat market in Al-Thawra neighbourhood.
Confrontations reportedly erupted between the two rival parties. The clashes ended with the militants taking over control over the market, without causing any casualties, the sources said.
The sources pointed out that Ghazwan’s gunmen took control of the market in order to collect taxes from the sellers of qat, a highly popular and profitable herb that is used amongst other things to subdue feelings of hunger.
Ghazwan al-Makhlafi is a young man who leads an armed group and receives support from military commanders in the city. Paradoxically enough, he is also supported by the Saudi-led coalition, according to security officials.
He has already carried out acts of bullying and attacks in the city and has been arrested before, only to be released not long after.