Four bodyguards of a Sunni tribal chief were killed on Sunday near Yemen’s capital by Shiite militiamen of the Ansarullah group, a tribal source said, sparking an ambush in reprisal.
The four were killed when the militiamen, also known as Huthis, blew up the house of Sheikh Yahia Taqi of the Islamist Al-Islah party at al-Makarib in the Arhab area, the source said.
Local tribes then ambushed an Ansarullah convoy of four vehicles carrying reinforcements, “killing or wounding around 30”, a local official said.
That toll could not be independently confirmed.
Arhab, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Sanaa, fell to the Shiite militiamen in mid-December as they sought to extend their influence after taking the capital in September.
Ansarullah’s rise in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country has undermined the authority of US ally President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, and Yemen remains wracked by violence despite UN efforts to broker a political solution.