29 killed in sectarian clashes in Yemen

Sana’a At least 29 people were killed in tribal and sectarian clashes in Yemen in the past 24 hours, police officials said Wednesday.

Clashes between two powerful tribes over a land dispute broke out Tuesday, killing 17 people and injuring 40 others, local police officials in Marib told Xinhua by phone.

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The fighting between Al-Abu Tahif tribe in the central province of Marib and Bal-Harith tribe in the southeastern province of Shabwa began Tuesday and intensified overnight as the two sides refused to give up their control of land in the desert on the shared borders between them, police officials said.

In the capital Sana’a, businessman Mohammed al-Habbari, who supported the Shia Houthi rebels, and eight of his bodyguards were killed Tuesday night in Hassaba neighbourhood over sectarian conflicts in the Sunni-dominated Arhab district, about 40 km northeast of Sana’a, police said.

On the same day, three people were killed and six others wounded in downtown Sana’a in a clash between two families over a land dispute, the police said.

The impoverished Arab country, already awash with roughly 60 million pieces of weapons, is struggling to maintain stability after a year-long upheaval forced former president Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power in 2012.

The government tried to resolve a Shia rebellion in the north and a growing secessionist movement in the south, as well as combating an active regional network of the Al Qaeda wing which is based in the country’s southeastern region.