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The Houthis are a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as a "powerful clan," and by the title Ash-Shabab al-Mu'min. The group takes its name from Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, their former commander, who was reportedly killed by Yemeni army forces in September 2004. Several other commanders, including, Ali al-Qatwani, Abu Haider, Abbas Aidah and Yousuf al-Madani have also been killed by Yemeni forces. The Houthi brothers' father Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group. Membership of the group had between 1,000 and 3,000 fighters as of 2005 and between 2,000 and 10,000 fighters as of 2009. In the Yemen Post it was claimed, however, that they had over 100,000 fighters. According to Houthi Expert Ahmed Al-Bahri the Houthis had a total of 100,000-120,000 followers, including both armed fighters and unarmed loyalists. The Houthis have asserted that their actions are for the defense of their community from the government and discrimination, though the Yemeni government has in turn accused them of wishing to bring it down and institute Shia religious law, destabilise the government and "stirring anti-American sentiment." (via Freebase)