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Shiite rebels attack Yemeni army, 4 soldiers killed


Shiite rebels attack Yemeni army, 4 soldiers killed

SANAA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Shiite Houthi rebels attacked a Yemeni army checkpoint in the northern province of Amran on Monday, killing at least four soldiers, military sources said.

The rebels attacked an Saladin military checkpoint near Amran, some 50 km north of the capital Sanaa, which is the main entrance to Sanaa, killing four soldiers and using a tank to force others to retreat, the sources said.

After controlling the checkpoint, the rebels stormed the central prison in Amman without resistance and set free 10 of their followers who were detained last month in clashes with the army, local residents said.

A source from the defense ministry said the army ordered the soldiers to exercise restraint in order to avoid further deterioration of the situation.

It is the latest in a series of sporadic attacks carried out by the Shiite rebels against the army in Amran.

Last month, the Defense Ministry relocated some army units in the northern Saada province, the stronghold of the Houthi rebels, to fight against al-Qaida in the southern regions.

During the past few months, the Shiite Houthi group has clashed with the army and Sunni tribal fighters in several northern provinces, leaving about one hundred people killed.

Shiite rebels have controlled Saada Province since they signed a ceasefire deal with the government in August 2010, ending a six- year intermittent war.