Shiite rebels in rare clash with Qaeda in south Yemen

AFP , Monday 22 Sep 2014

Hawthi Shiite rebels chant slogans at the compound of the army's First Armored Division, after they took it over, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Shiite rebels who descended from northern Yemen to seize parts of Sanaa have clashed with Al-Qaeda-linked militants hundreds of kilometres (miles) south of the capital, a US monitor said Monday.

The rare clashes between the Huthi rebels and militants from the Al-Qaeda affiliated Ansar al-Sharia occurred over the weekend in the town of Al-Dali, SITE Intelligence Group said in a statement.

The fighting broke out on Saturday when militants captured and killed a businessman linked to the Huthis, SITE reported, citing a post from a Ansar al-Sharia news account on Twitter.

According to the report, four militants from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) were killed along with the same number of Huthis.

The next day Ansar al-Sharia militants captured eight Huthis.

Al-Dali is located 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of the Yemeni capital.

The United States considers AQAP to be Al-Qaeda's most dangerous affiliate.

The group has taken advantage of a decline in central government control during Yemen's 2011 uprising to seize large swathes of territory across the south and southeast.

The Huthis, who launched a bid for power in the Yemeni capital last month, had waged a decade-long insurgency in their mountainous bastion in the north of the Arabian Peninsula country.

Their presence in the south is normally weak, and rarely engage in combat with AQAP militants.

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