SANAA (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Twelve fighters were killed in northern Yemen on Saturday in ongoing clashes between Shia tribesmen allied with the country’s former leader and ultraconservative Salafis, security officials said, as the new president grapples with challenges to his authority.
Tensions have long existed between Salafi Islamists, and former Hawthis, who are Shia Muslims. Nearly 200 people died in fighting late last year between the two sides in northern Saada province.
Residents trapped in street fighting in the city of Raada in Amran say the Salafis from the opposition Islah Party were fighting Hawthis, the two sides firing at each other with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.
Also on Saturday, security officials said a suspected al Qaeda suicide bomber wounded three people in the southern province of Aden, among them the commander of local tribes who fought alongside the government against the group earlier this year.
Abdel-Latif el-Sayid was in critical condition, officials said.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen took advantage of the country’s political turmoil to take over large swaths of the country’s south last year, but the government and local tribes won back control.