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Officials: Sunni-Shiite fighting kills 65 in Yemen

A police trooper secures a street as anti-government protesters demonstrate to demand for the Yemeni government be dismissed in Sanaa February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

SANAA: Security and tribal officials say a battle between Shiite and Sunni tribesman over land in northwest Yemen has left more than 65 dead.

The officials say the battle, which raged all Friday and into Saturday, was between Shiite Hawthis and members of the Sunni Hashid tribe, and was over mutually desired territory in the province of Amran, north of Sanaa.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media, said violence escalated after Hashid tribesman asked for reinforcements from Sunni ultraconservatives, who sent over 700 men.

Land disputes are common between the Hawthi group and the tribesman. Tensions have long existed between Salafi Islamists, who are Sunni Muslims, and former Hawthi rebels, who are Shiite Muslims.

 

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