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Iran Press TV

Yemen Houthi fighters battle Salafists near Sana'a

Iran Press TV

Thu Feb 6, 2014 2:7PM GMT

Shia Houthi fighters have engaged in overnight battles with Salafi militants near the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, with reports saying that a fragile truce has now been restored.

The fighting broke out on Wednesday in the Arhab district, some 35km north of Sana'a.

Houthi fighters from Ansarullah movement have blamed militias from the Islah party for breaching a truce that came into force on Tuesday.

They also accused Islah militants of attacking a convoy of mediators who were sent to the area by the government last week and of killing a number of their guards.

According to tribal sources, mediators brokered a halt to the fighting on Thursday and tried to cement the truce.

Houthis have been battling with Salafi militants and their tribal backers since early January. At least 150 people were killed only last week.

On February 2, the Houthi fighters captured the town of Houth and the village of Khamri, which are strongholds of the al-Ahmar clan, and forced pro-Salafi militants to flee to Sana'a. Al-Ahmar tribe is the leading clan of the Hashid confederation.

Following the victory, Houthi fighters and Hashid tribes, excluding al-Ahmar, agreed on a ceasefire.

Yemen's Houthi movement draws its name from the tribe of its founding leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.

SAB/AB/SS



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