Yemen: Clashes between shiite muslim Houthis rebels and Salafi sunni islamist group killed at least 22 people
At least 22 people were killed in clashes between Shiite Muslim rebels and fighters from a Sunni Islamist group in a province under rebel control in rugged northern Yemen, tribal sources said on Thursday.
A source close to the Shiite rebels known as Houthis said fighters from a Sunni group known as the Salafi attacked the rebels overnight in Hajja and in the Kataf area of Saada province, an area that has seen intense sectarian fighting in recent months.
“We blocked the attack in under an hour and 13 people died in Hajja and nine in Kataf,” said the Houthi source.
The Salafi fighters are followers of a Sunni creed akin to Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi school of Islam.
The Houthis, who draw their name from a tribal leader, had fought government forces for years until an uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh last year gave them free rein in Saada province, which borders the world’s number one oil-exporter Saudi Arabia.