At least 26 people have been killed in clashes between Yemen's Shia Houthi fighters and al-Qaeda-linked militants in the southern province of al-Bayda.
Heavy fighting led to the deaths of 16 Houthi fighters and 10 Sunni militiamen in Yemen’s al-Bayda city, unidentified security officials and tribal sources said.
Over the past months, al-Qaeda militants have frequently carried out attacks on Yemen’s security forces. The militants have also been engaged in battles against the Shia Houthi fighters.
On Thursday, al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia terrorists launched an attack against the camp of Yemen’s 19th Infantry Brigade in the town of Beihan, and took full control of the government army base. Eight soldiers and four al-Qaeda militants were killed in the ensuing fighting.
The central government in Sana’a has so far failed in efforts to rid the country of the threat posed by the terrorists.
Abu Dhabi cited the deterioration of the political and security situation in Yemen.
France, the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia have also closed their missions in Yemen.
The Houthi movement has criticized Western states for closing their diplomatic missions, saying the move was “absolutely unjustified” and designed to put pressure on the Yemeni people.
In September 2014, Houthi fighters gained control of Sana’a, following a four-day battle with army forces loyal to General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, the half-brother of the country’s former dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The Houthis say the Yemeni government has been incapable of properly running the affairs of the country and providing security. Before gaining control of the capital, the Houthi movement had set a deadline for the political parties to put aside differences and fill the power vacuum, but the deadline was missed without any change in the political scene of the country.
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