Yemeni air force bombs Houthi fighters in Amran
Houthi fighters seized control of Amran in February. (AFP/File)
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Yemeni warplanes have carried out fresh airstrikes against Shia Houthi fighters in the northern city of Amran.
The Tuesday attacks occurred on the second day of the army’s air raids against the Houthis. Sources have reported casualties without specifying exact numbers.
Clashes erupted on Monday after Yemeni army soldiers, backed by warplanes, attempted to remove Houthis from a strategic position controlling the road to the capital Sana’a.
Local officials say at least 120 people were killed in the violence. Fighters from Islah (reform) party have been backing the army in its fight against Houthis.
In February, Houthi fighters seized areas of Amran in fighting with Salafi tribesmen.
Yemen’s Houthi movement, which draws its name from the tribe of its founding leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, has been fighting against the central government for years.
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 the 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.