Explosion in north Yemen kills 12 rebels

SANAA - Twelve rebels were killed and 17 others wounded in north Yemen on Wednesday when an explosion rocked a convoy of cars heading to a religious celebration, a spokesman for the rebel group said.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Wed 24 Nov 2010, 2:18 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:18 AM

The spokesman said it was still unclear what caused the explosion, which took place in the northern Jawf province.

Yemen’s government has been trying to maintain a shaky truce with the Shia Muslim rebels, who are known as Houthis after their leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi and complain of being marginalised by Sanaa.

A February ceasefire halted a war that has raged on and off since 2004 and displaced around 350,000 people.

Yemen, neighbour to top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, is under pressure from Riyadh and the United States to quell the conflict in the north and a separatist rebellion in the south, in order to combat a resurgent regional al Qaeda wing based in the country.

The northern truce has largely held despite sporadic clashes between Houthis and pro-government tribesmen.

The impoverished Arabian Peninsula state surged to the forefront of western security concerns after two US-bound parcel bombs claimed by al Qaeda’s Yemen-based branch were intercepted in Britain and Dubai.

Around 30,000 Yemeni troops are currently deployed in the turbulent south, often a site of bloody clashes between Islamist and separatist militants and the state, in order to maintain security as it hosts a regional soccer tournament, the Gulf Cup.

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