SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- At least twenty people have been killed in the latest round of clashes between Houthi movement’s Ansarullah fighters and al-Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen’s central province of Bayda.
A local resident, identified as Fahd al-Tawil, said Ansarullah fighters of the Shia Houthi movement launched an offensive on Monday to push into an al-Qaeda stronghold outside the town of Rada’, situated about 130 kilometers (85 miles) southeast of the capital, Sana’a.
Both sides engaged in a fierce exchange of fire, during which sixteen Ansarullah members and four militants were killed.
On November 9, a commander of al-Qaeda-affiliated militants, known as Ali Abdullah al-Ba’ni, turned himself in to Ansarullah after the fighters closed in on the terrorists in the town of Odain, in the southern province of Ibb.
The development came two days after Houthi fighters flushed out militants from the town of Khokha in the strategic western province of Hudaydah.
The leader of Ansarullah movement recently accused the government in Sana’a of failing to meet its responsibilities to provide security as threats from Takfiri terrorists grow.
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said on November 4 that the militants are spreading across the country while the security apparatus and the government fail to confront them.
Al-Qaeda militants frequently carry out attacks on Yemen’s security forces and have been locked in deadly battles with Ansarullah fighters over the past months.
The violence against Yemeni security forces has grown since February 2012, when President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi came to power in a one-man election backed by Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Hadi replaced long-time dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted after a year of mass protests across the country. Ansarullah revolutionary fighters played an instrumental role in the overthrow of Saleh.