Aden, Jan 29 (IANS) At least seven Shia Houthi fighters were killed and five others injured in a suspected Al Qaeda attack in Yemen Wednesday, an official told Xinhua.
“Unknown gunmen believed to be Al Qaeda operatives attacked the house of a tribal leader allied to the Shia Houthi group in Radda town of al-Bayda province, killing at least seven people inside,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.
“The victims were meeting the tribal leader inside the house when the armed attack occurred,” the official said, adding that the two sides exchanged fire for about half an hour.
The impoverished Arab country has seen persistent unrest since 2011 when mass protests forced former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took over power in 2012, but submitted his resignation to the parliament last week amid a standoff with the Houthi rebels.
Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and his cabinet submitted their resignations to the president the same day.
The crisis, which has been tearing Yemen apart since September, worsened two weeks ago when the rebels took control of the presidential headquarters in the capital Sana’a.
The rebels moved close to the Yemeni parliament Friday after President Hadi’s resignation.
However, Hadi decided to withdraw his resignation, following international efforts led by UN envoy Jamal Bin Omar, as well as representatives of Yemeni political parties, an official said Sunday.
Yemen has been facing the Al Qaeda in the south and armed groups, including the powerful Houthis, in the north.