Eight killed in Shiite rebel clashes in north Yemen
Yemeni Shiite rebels killed two soldiers and six pro-government tribesmen in fresh clashes on Wednesday which enabled the rebels to seize a large-scale region in northern Yemen, a security official said, Xinhua reported.
The move was regarded by the official of the Interior ministry as one of a series of blatant violation of the latest truce deal brokered by the Qatari government between Sanaa government and the rebels.
"Houthis (rebels) are exploiting the government's busyness in fighting al-Qaida militants and in expanding their domination over northern remote districts," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
"They (rebels) raided Marashi district of the northeast al-Jouf province, killing two soldiers and six pro-government tribesmen and wounding dozens of the army," he said, adding "Houthis forced local residents out after taking control of the district."
Yemen has witnessed sporadic battles since 2004 between Yemeni government troops and rebels. The government has been accusing the rebels of seeking to re-establish the clerical rule overthrown by the 1962 Yemeni revolution that created the Yemeni republic.
On Aug. 26, the Yemeni government and Shiite rebels signed an agreement in Doha to cement a fragile cease-fire in northern Yemen that ended sporadic battles since 2004.
Sanaa government and the rebel group, however, were still trading accusations against each other over breaching the truce.
Earlier this month, an official statement on the interior ministry's website accused the rebels of establishing a number of checkpoints in Barat district in al-Jouf province, as well as stepping up its militants in some regions of the province.
Yemen has recently come under increasing pressure from the international community, which asked the Sanaa to solve its internal conflicts and focus on fighting terrorist groups after the Yemen-based al-Qaida wing claimed credit for a failed attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane bound for Detroit last year.