Sanaa, May 23 IANS | 7 months ago

A suicide car bomber hit a check point manned by Yemeni Shiite Houthi rebels in northeast Yemeni province of al-Jouf Friday, killing at least 12 rebels, Xinhua quoted a provincial official as saying.

The attack targeted the Shiite Houthi rebels at Al-Ghail district, where they set up a new check point.

Many others were wounded in the attack as the rebels sealed off the area, Xinhua reported.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

In 2010, the Sunni al-Qaida militants claimed responsibility for twin suicide car bombings on the Shiite followers in al-Jouf and Saada provinces, which left more than 90 people dead, including the Shiite' spiritual leader Bader al-Deen al-Houthi.

On Tuesday, the Shiite Houthi rebels killed at least 20 soldiers in an attack on an army position in northern province of Amran.

Defence Ministry officials said major military brigades in Saada, Amran and al-Jouf have been relocated early this month to engage government military offensive against al-Qaida militants in southern Yemen.

The Shiite Houthi group has seized several towns in northern provinces of Hajja, al-Jouf and Amran after deadly fighting with local Sunni tribal residents over the past months.

Sectarian conflicts have been expanding in Yemen's northern provinces since the eruption of protests against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011.

Shiite rebels have controlled the northern Saada province since they signed a ceasefire deal with the government in August 2010, ending a six-year intermittent war.

(Posted on 23-05-2014)

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