25 killed in Yemen clashes
More than two dozen people have been killed in fresh clashes between Yemeni security forces and Houthi fighters near the city of Amran, medical sources say.
According to local sources, the deadly gunfight broke out between the Yemeni army and the Houthi fighters in the western suburbs of the west-central city of Amran on Saturday.
Medical officials said the clashes killed 14 Houthi fighters and 11 army soldiers, wounding dozens of others.
In late March, at least 12 people lost their lives in a similar gun battle that erupted when the Houthi fighters sought to cross an army checkpoint at the northern entrance of Amran to participate in a demonstration.
The Shia fighters blame the government for political, economic, and religious marginalization of the country’s Shia community and violating their civil rights.
In February, the Yemeni government agreed to transform the impoverished Arab state into a federation as part of a political transition. This would create four regions in the north and two in the south. But the government’s plan was flatly rejected by both separatists in the south and the Houthi fighters, who argue that the initiative would divide Yemen into rich and poor regions.
The Houthi movement also played a key role in the popular revolution that forced former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in February 2012.