At least 13 people died when fighters of the Shi'ite Houthi movement clashed with security forces in northern Yemen on Friday, government sources said. Local authorities said two soldiers were killed in the attack and four others were wounded when Houthis attacked a security checkpoint in the northwestern al Jawf province, according to state news agency Saba. An exchange of fire took place as a result of the attack and three of the Houthi attackers were killed and several others were then arrested, a statement by the local authorities said.
Security sources had told Reuters violence erupted after members of the Houthi
group staged a protest in al Hazm, the provincial capital of al Jawf
province, against what they said was the government's failure to boost
the economy and end violence.
Officials from both sides had given different accounts of what happened next.
One government security source, who asked not to be named, said armed
Houthis exchanged fire with soldiers at an army checkpoint near a local
government compound, leaving at least 10 Houthis and three soldiers
The Houthis said they were attacked by armed Islah members supported by a
group from the army, according to a statement on a Houthi-linked
Yemen is plagued by unrest and divisions since before the former president Ali Abdallah Salah was forced to step down in 2012. On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council authorized sanctions against anyone in Yemen who obstructs the country's political transition or commits human rights violations but stopped short of blacklisting any specific individuals.