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20 killed in Yemen sectarian clashes

Posted on Aug 13 2014 | IANS

Sanna, Aug 13 : At least 20 people were killed in sectarian clashes in Yemen, officials said Wednesday.

The clashes between Shia Houthi rebels and Sunni tribal residents erupted Monday night on the outskirts of al-Ghayl town following the collapse of a weeks-long truce, supervised by a presidential committee, and continued till Wednesday, Xinhua reported citing the officials.

At least 15 Shia rebels and five Sunni fighters have been killed and dozens of others injured, they said.

Local residents accused the Shia rebels of trying to seize their town by using heavy arms.

A spokesperson of the Houthi, a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in the country, however, denied the allegation.

Several houses were damaged by random shelling as clashes continued Wednesday in and around the town, about 143 km northeast of the capital Sanaa.

On July 8, Shia rebels seized the provincial capital of Amran province, some 50 km north of Sanaa, after nine months of sporadic fighting against the army backed by Sunni fighters, during which hundreds of people were killed and tens of thousands displaced.

According to the UN, up to 40,000 people have been displaced by the conflict in Amran province since October 2013, about half of whom fled their homes in May. This is in addition to over 42,000 people displaced by earlier rounds of conflict in the area.

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