80 dead in central Yemen after three days of conflict

Published November 15th, 2014 - 08:00 GMT

Fighting in a flashpoint town in central Yemen has left at least 80 people dead over the last three days, local officials and witnesses say.

The deadly clashes, which started on Thursday, have been raging between Houthi movement’s Ansarullah fighters and al-Qaeda-linked militants in the town of Khabza in the province of al-Bayda.“The dead include civilians. Seven of them were children killed in the shelling of a local school used as a camp for refugees,” said Naser al-Sana, a Yemeni official in the city of Rada’ close to Khabza, on Saturday.

He added that heavy weapons are being used in the ongoing skirmishes.

The clashes erupted after the Ansarullah forces entered the town in an attempt to restore stability there.

Al-Qaeda militants frequently carry out attacks on Yemen’s security forces and have been locked in deadly battles with Ansarullah fighters over the past months.

Yemen’s central government has so far failed to confront the terrorist threat. Ansarullah fighters, however, have intervened to fill the vacuum and driven al-Qaeda militants out of many areas in the country.

The Shia revolutionaries also played a major role in the ouster of Yemen’s former dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, in 2012.

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