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A Salafist group fired guns and rocket propelled grenades on the NGOs after warning of the dangers of international organizations

Oxfam, ACTED, IRC shutter offices in Al-Dhale after armed attacks by Salafist group

Three international aid organizations have begun closing their operations in the capital of Al-Dhale governorate on Sunday evening, after coming under armed attacks by a Salafist organization, according to aid workers and officials in the local authority, who spoke with Almasdar Online on the condition of anonymity.

ACTED, the International Rescue Committee and Oxfam have evacuated their headquarters in Al-Dhale City and prepared to close operations, the source said.

Leaflets were distributed throughout the governorate by a Salafist organization Thursday evening, warning of "the dangers of international organizations," a youth activist in Al-Dhale told Almasdar Onlinegovernorate.

The leaflets included warnings to locals that international organizations "encourage mixing between young men and girls working there," said the activist, who declined to be named out of fear for his safety.

Leaflets distributed in Al-Dhale City warned of the religious dangers posed by organisations that lead young people out of the path of Islam, according to the activist, who said that Salafi preachers who handed out the leaflets are supported by the UAE. 

Within 24 hours of the leaflets being distributed, the international aid organizations and a women's center came under attack by armed gunmen and rocket propelled grenades. No one was injured or killed. 

Local authorities did not provide protection to the international organizations immediately following the attacks, residents of Al-Dhale City told Almasdar Online. The residents said that the security forces could have played a crucial role in preventing the attacks because they did nothing while the leaflets were being handed out.


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