Houthi fighters and Al Qaeda clash in Yemen, 33 killed
At least 29 Houthi fighters were killed during the clashes (File/AFP)
At least 33 people have been killed in fierce clashes between Shiite Houthi fighters on one hand and Al-Qaeda militants and allied tribesmen on the other in Yemen's central city of Rada'a, a local official has said.
"At least 29 Houthi militants were killed in clashes that erupted Monday night and continued into Tuesday," the official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
"Four were killed from among the ranks of the Al-Qaeda militants and their tribal allies," he said.
For nearly two weeks, the Shiite Houthi militant group and Al-Qaeda have been battling for control of Yemen's Al-Bayda' province, of which Rada'a is the largest city.
On Monday, Al-Qaeda gunmen and allied tribesmen attacked Houthi positions in the flashpoint city, a local tribal source said.
In recent months, Yemen has appeared to teeter on the verge of civil war as the Houthis seek to expand their control beyond capital Sanaa – where they assumed control in September – to other parts of the country.
The growing Houthi influence has pitted the Shiite movement against Al-Qaeda, which is said to remain active in politically fractious Yemen.
Recent fighting between the warring camps in the country's central and western regions has left dozens dead.