Middle East

25 killed in Yemen army clashes with Shiite rebels: medics

Police troopers stand guard on a bridge in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa May 19, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

SANAA: Eleven Yemeni soldiers and 14 Shiite Huthi rebels were killed Tuesday during clashes in a stronghold of the insurgents in the north of the country, medics said.

Dozens of other combatants were wounded in the gunfight that erupted on the western outskirts of Amran city, the medics at Amran hospital said.

A military source said earlier that three soldiers were killed in the clashes which broke out when rebels attacked an army position in the area.

Tensions remain high in Amran where Huthis have been trying to enforce their presence through armed parades and protests against the military.

But the suspected aim of the rebels is to enlarge their sphere of influence as the country is set to be divided into six federal regions, pushing out from their mountain strongholds in the far north to areas closer to the capital Sanaa.

The rebels complain that Yemen would be divided into rich and poor regions under the plan agreed in February following national talks that were part of Yemen's political transition.

The Huthis have fought the central government in Sanaa for years, complaining of marginalisation under former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted in 2012 following a year of protests.





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