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Saudi Arabia

96 border villages being demolished

Authorities have decided to demolish 96 deserted border villages to prevent their use by infiltrators from Yemen. Ten villages have already been demolished since Operation Decisive Storm was launched on March 26.
A local newspaper quoted Hassan Aqeeli, the Border Guard commander in the Al-Harith region of Jazan, as saying that the move was to prevent the empty houses turning into safe havens for traffickers and infiltrators.
“These deserted structures are regarded as a safe shelter for smugglers and infiltrators,” he said.
The 15,000 inhabitants of this particular area were resettled following a 2009-2010 conflict that saw Houthis cross into the Kingdom from Yemen.
Border Guard officers are conducting daily inspection campaigns and security checks on all houses located on the border.
Bulldozers are racing to remove the buildings along the border, under the close and continuous follow-up of border patrols and security forces.
Aqeeli said the border villages became ghost towns after the residents were evacuated in 2010.
Following a failed attempt by Houthis to infiltrate the border in 2009, Saudi Arabia implemented a wider security buffer zone along its border with Yemen.
The process involved removing whole villages and compensating residents with residential units under the King Abdullah Housing Project in Jazan.

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