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22 killed in clashes between Yemen rebels, pro-government tribesmen

Arab World Materials 21 July 2010 01:47 (UTC +04:00)
At least 22 people were killed and more than 50 injured in two days of fierce clashes between Shiite rebels and tribesmen loyal to the government in north-western Yemen, tribal sources said Tuesday, dpa reported.
22 killed in clashes between Yemen rebels, pro-government tribesmen

At least 22 people were killed and more than 50 injured in two days of fierce clashes between Shiite rebels and tribesmen loyal to the government in north-western Yemen, tribal sources said Tuesday, dpa reported.

Seven tribesmen and five Shiite rebels were killed and more than 20 from both sides were wounded in battles in the Harf Sufian and al- Amashiya districts of Amran province, some 70 kilometres north-west of the capital Sana'a, the sources told the German Press Agency dpa.

They said the clashes, in which machineguns and mortars were used, broke out late on Monday and continued Tuesday.

A clash in neighbouring Saada province, which borders Saudi Arabia, left six tribesmen and four rebels dead as well as around 30 from both sides injured on Tuesday, said the sources who asked not to be named.

Houthi sources said army units backed the tribesmen in the fighting.

Waves of clashes between the national army and the rebels, who are called Houthis after the family of its leaders, have left hundreds of government troops and rebels dead and displaced around 350,000 civilians from their villages since the conflict broke out in mid- 2004.

The rebels reached a ceasefire agreement with the government in February, but fighting between them and tribesmen loyal to the government has since been raging sporadically in Saada province.

Authorities said last week the rebels have committed 635 ceasefire violations since the truce took effect in February, including attacks on military and police personnel and setting up checkpoints on main roads in the volatile province.

On July 15, the Interior Ministry accused the Houthis of killing 11 people, including three officers, in an ambush in the restive Saada province. The rebels denied the accusations.

The renewed violence comes one week after Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Qatar would resume its mediation efforts to cement the fragile truce.

The Qatari mediation would be based on a 2007 Qatari-brokered peace agreement signed by representatives of the Yemeni government and the rebels in Doha, Saleh told reporters after talks with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, in Sana'a.

Yemeni officials declared the collapse of the Qatari mediation in August 2009, saying the rebels were unwilling to abide by its terms.

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