Yemen's Shiite rebels kill five soldiers in Amran
Agence France Presse reported Tuesday that at least five Yemeni soldiers were killed on-duty from a Shiite rebel-led attack on the officials in the city of Amran.
Local officials and medics confirmed that the rebels from the north attacked three army posts in the city of Amran, which is located 50 kilometers from the country's capital. In addition to the five soldiers killed, several were wounded as well.
Clashes ensued following the attack between the soldiers and the rebels leaving several other rebels dead and wounded.
Sanaa says the rebels are trying to "enlarge their sphere of influence" in the country ahead of the official six-state federation split, according to the AFP report. The Shiite minority currently occupies the northern regions of Yemen, which represent some of the poorest areas of the country.
The six-state federation plan that was finalized in February is under severe scrutiny by both the Shiite rebels in the north as well as the country's southern residents due to what has been described as a federation splitting the country's rich and poor regions.
The Shiite Houthi rebels have been in conflict with Sanaa both before and after ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh's oust in 2012, saying that the government has continued to marginalize them both politically and economically.