Babylon & Beyond

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YEMEN: Truce among northern tribes is short-lived as clashes erupt

July 25, 2010 | 12:54 pm

Hours after tribal leaders reached a truce in northern Yemen on Sunday, it was broken as clashes erupted in the fighting between government-backed clans and Houthi rebels that had killed more than 60 people in recent days, according to tribal sources and media reports.

The latest round of bloodshed had begun last week in the tribe-dominated provinces of Amran and Saada governorates after the government accused the Houthi tribal alliance of assassinating a pro-government sheik and his son. The truce announced Saturday quickly collapsed in a dispute over positions held by tribal fighters. Four people were killed in Sunday’s clashes, which came after President Ali Abdullah Saleh said he did not want renewed fighting between government troops and Houthi rebels.

The quickly broken truce came after the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad ibn Khalifa al Thani, flew to Yemen last week offering to resurrect a peace deal brokered in Doha in 2008. The agreement, which includes an end to hostilities and amnesty to rebels, was welcomed by some groups but greeted with skepticism by Hassan Zaid, a politician with ties to the Houthis.

Read more: "Northern tribes reach a truce in clashes that have killed at least 60"

-- Alice Fordham in Sana, Yemen