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Clashes kill at least 23 in north Yemen

By AFP - Jan 05,2014 - Last updated at Jan 05,2014

SANAA — Two days of clashes between Shiite rebels and Sunni tribesmen fighting alongside hardline Salafists in northern Yemen have killed at least 23 people, sources said on Sunday.

Fighting has centred for months on a Salafist mosque and Koranic school in Dammaj, which has been besieged by the Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

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

On Sunday, at least 10 people were killed in Jawf province in clashes between rebels and armed men from the Daham tribe, a tribal chief told AFP.

Seven people were killed at Harf Sufyan, in the northern province of Amran, another tribal chief said on Sunday, while two others died in shelling of Dammaj, in Saada province, Salafist websites reported.

Four people died in fighting that took place in Jawf on Saturday, another tribal chief said.

Houthi rebels this week took over positions evacuated by Salafist gunmen in the area of Kitaf, north of Saada city, witnesses said, adding the rebels demolished the Salafist Dar Al Hadith religious school and 20 houses.

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