Shi'ites overrun rival strongholds in north Yemen; 40 dead

February 2, 2014 16:03
1 minute read.


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SANAA - Shi'ite rebels have overrun strongholds of a rival Sunni tribal group in fighting that has killed at least 40 people in northern Yemen in the last two days, tribal sources said on Sunday.

The fighting compounds the challenges faced by US-allied Yemen, which is struggling to stabilize a country that is home to one of al-Qaida's most active branches.

One of the poorest countries in the Arab world, it has been in turmoil since mass protests in 2011 forced long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

Tribal sources said Houthi fighters and their allies from the Hashed tribal federation seized control of al-Khamri, the al-Ahmar family tribal region in Omran province. An al-Ahmar family home was burned.

The Ansarullah website, run by the Houthi group, said its fighters and allies from Hashed were "pounding the fortifications of the militias of the al-Ahmar sons" in al-Khamri and Zu Anash areas in Omran province.

"The al-Ahmar militias and the religious hardliners are fleeing from the two areas, along with military hardware and equipment," it said.

Tribal sources said that at least 30 Houthi rebels and 10 fighters from the Hashed tribe died in the fighting.

There was no independent confirmation of the figures.

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