Fighting between army and rebels kills 24 in Yemen
During the fighting the army and allied Islamists lost 8 men, while the Shiite rebels lost 16, with many more injured on both sides. (Photo Courtesy: usatoday.com)
Government troops and allied Islamists in Yemen clashed with Shiite rebels in the north, AFP reported on Friday.
Fighting killed at least 24 as soldiers and members of the Islamist al-Islah party sought to take control of government offices in Hizm, the capital of the Jawf province, against Zaidi Shiite rebels.
Rebel fighting comes after Yemen's president and several main political parties voted this month to convert the conflict prone country into a six-region federation, AFP reported.
The rebels, also known as Huthis, are attempting to capture Hizm and integrate the entire Jawf province into the Azal region, one of the regions created as a part of the federation, according to AFP.
Currently, under the federation agreement Jawf province would be located in the separate Saba region.
The rebels are oppossed to the federalist structure, arguing that it would separate the country would be divided into rich and poor areas.