Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Yemen: clashes between Houthis and Islah party in the north

Twenty-three people have been killed and dozens injured in the northern province of Jawf since clashes broke out on Friday between members of Yemen's main opposition party Islah and northern Shi'ite rebels known as Houthis. The fighting started when Houthis refused to give up an army base they occupied after the governor of Jawf fled two months ago, an opposition source said.
Jawf lies along Yemen's northern border with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia launched a military offensive against the Houthis after they briefly seized Saudi territory in late 2009. Houthi rebels have fought President Ali Abdullah Saleh's government on and off since 2004. Protests against Saleh's rule had united Houthis and protesters, including the Islah, but rifts have begun to appear as a political stalemate drags on.

In the city of Taiz at least two pro-opposition tribal gunmen were killed in clashes with forces loyal to Saleh, Al Jazeera television said. Heavy fighting continued late into the night, with pro-Saleh forces using mortars, artillery and tanks in the city, the site of large anti-government protests, it said.
Earlier, 11 militants were killed in military strikes in the south while clashes within the police force over delayed salary payments injured three. Five Islamist militants were killed in air strikes on Abyan province on Tuesday, where six were killed in a battle late on Monday, local government officials said.

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