Last updated: 6 January, 2014

34 wounded evacuated from north Yemen clashes

The Red Cross on Monday evacuated 34 people wounded in northern Yemen clashes between hardline Sunni Salafists and Shiite rebels, a statement said.

The 34 critically wounded were taken from Dammaj, in the Saada province, where Salafists have been besieged for months by Shiite Huthi rebels, according to a statement from the International Committee of the Red Cross .

They were airlifted along with a sick person to Sanaa, it said.

Two bodies were also evacuated, the statement said. A Salafist chief in Dammaj told AFP that the remains belonged to two Huthi fighters.

The Islamist leader said that a new ceasefire came into effect on Monday morning as a result of mediation led by a committee appointed by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi.

Fighting has centred for months on a Salafist mosque and Koranic school in Dammaj.

But the conflict has spread in the northern provinces, embroiling Sunni tribes wary of the power of the Huthis, who have repeatedly been accused of receiving support from Iran.

The ICRC said it has managed to enter Dammaj six times since the fighting resumed on October 24.