Sunni tribesmen and Shi'ite fighters clash in Yemen, 8 dead

October 17, 2014 15:15

SANAA - At least eight people were killed in heavy fighting between Sunni Muslim tribesmen and Shi'ite Houthi rebels in central Yemen on Friday, as the battle crept closer to an al-Qaida stronghold, increasing fears of outright sectarian warfare.

The Houthi rebels established themselves as Yemen's new powerbrokers last month, capturing Sanaa on Sept. 21 to little resistance from residents or from the weak administration of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Their ascendance has angered al-Qaida, which views Shi'ites as heretics and Houthis as pawns of Iran. Last week, the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed a suicide bombing on a Houthi gathering that killed at least 47 people.

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