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International watchdog warns of Shiite rebels' assaults on journalists in Yemeni capital

  • Hawthi Shiite rebels chant slogans at the compound of the army's First Armored Division, after they took it over, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Heavily armed Yemeni Shiite militiamen took over the headquarters and house of a powerful army general allied to Sunni Islamists on Monday and set up checkpoints across the capital, Sanaa, after sweeping across the city as the general and his allies fled and went into hiding. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Hawthi Shiite rebels chant slogans at the compound of the army's First Armored Division, after they took it over, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Heavily armed Yemeni Shiite militiamen took over the headquarters and house of a powerful army general allied to Sunni Islamists on Monday and set up checkpoints across the capital, Sanaa, after sweeping across the city as the general and his allies fled and went into hiding. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Hawthi Shiite rebels ride in a pickup truck at the compound of the army's First Armored Division, after taking it over, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Heavily armed Yemeni Shiite militiamen took over the headquarters and house of a powerful army general allied to Sunni Islamists on Monday and set up checkpoints across the capital, Sanaa, after sweeping across the city as the general and his allies fled and went into hiding. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Hawthi Shiite rebels ride in a pickup truck at the compound of the army's First Armored Division, after taking it over, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Heavily armed Yemeni Shiite militiamen took over the headquarters and house of a powerful army general allied to Sunni Islamists on Monday and set up checkpoints across the capital, Sanaa, after sweeping across the city as the general and his allies fled and went into hiding. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Hawthi Shiite rebels ride pickup trucks at the compound of the army's First Armored Division, after they took it over, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Heavily armed Yemeni Shiite militiamen took over the headquarters and house of a powerful army general allied to Sunni Islamists on Monday and set up checkpoints across the capital, Sanaa, after sweeping across the city as the general and his allies fled and went into hiding. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Hawthi Shiite rebels ride pickup trucks at the compound of the army's First Armored Division, after they took it over, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Heavily armed Yemeni Shiite militiamen took over the headquarters and house of a powerful army general allied to Sunni Islamists on Monday and set up checkpoints across the capital, Sanaa, after sweeping across the city as the general and his allies fled and went into hiding. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

An international watchdog has expressed concern over increasing attacks on journalists in the Yemeni capital by armed Shiite rebels who swept into Sanaa and took control of the city over the weekend.

Reporters Without Borders said in a statement Thursday that the Hawthi rebel group has created a "climate of terror," forcing journalists to go into hiding or self-censor their work to avoid reprisals.

Since the Hawthis overran Sanaa, defeating Sunni Islamist fighters, they have carried out retaliatory attacks on their Sunni foes, Sunni-associated media, military bases and installations.

Reporters Without Borders says the crisis — including attacks on media and journalists — is "not only jeopardizing Yemen's political transition but is also a source of deep concern for the future of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of information."