Dozens killed in ongoing clashes in Yemen's Amran province
It is not just the Houthis who are facing socioeconomic difficulties in Yemen: many locals in Sanaa have been protesting electricity cutoffs over the past few weeks (Mohammed Huwais/AFP)
Agence France Presse reported Friday that dozens of individuals have been killed over the past two days in ongoing clashes between government troops and Shiite Houthi rebels north of the capital.
Local government officials and tribal chiefs told AFP that government warplanes conducted at least eight raids on Houthi strongholds on army positions in the north.
"The fighting [and attacks have] killed dozens on both sides in the past 48 hours," a tribal source said.
No clear information on the exact death toll was reported.
Soldiers from Sanaa and Houthis have been clashing extensively over the past months, as the latter camp tries to increase its power in the country's north ahead of the implementation of a new six-state federation that will divide the country into "rich and poor regions" according to the Houthis.
The Houthis have been successful in capturing the strategic Jabal Al Dhafir mountain that is situated on one of the key roads linking Sanaa to the Shiite stronghold, Amran province.
The army has largely responded through aerial attacks on key Shiite towns in Hamdan, Bani Matar and Iyal Sreih in Amran province.
A truce was implemented earlier this month to end the fighting in Amran, but the ceasefire collapsed only eleven days after it was put into effect.
The Houthis represent one of Yemen's major minorities and have been in tension with Sanaa leadership for years, saying that the government has often marginalized the minority politically and socioeconomically.