More than 120 Salafis killed in new clashes in Yemen

Dec. 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

DAMAJ, Yemen, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- In renewed clashes among Salafis and Houthi militants in northern Yemen, more than 120 Salafis have been killed, officials said.

Damaj in the province of Sa'ada has been the scene for violent clashes between the two groups in recent weeks, Iran's semi-official Press TV reported.

As of Sunday, the death toll among Salafis in Damaj had risen to more than 120, Yemen's state-run newspaper al-Thawra reported.

There were no figures available for Houthi casualties.

The Houthi group was accused Saturday of seizing two government soldiers in the area monitoring a November cease-fire between the two sides of the conflict, the Yemeni paper said.

"Shooting with light weapons has not stopped throughout the past few days," said Yehia Abuesbaa, head of the presidential committee overseeing the ceasefire.

Houthi officials have not commented on the allegations.

Renewed clashes in the area arose after Houthi fighters accused the Salafis of bringing thousands of foreign fighters to a religious school in Damaj.

However, the Salafis say those who were brought to the school were there to study Islamic theology at the Dar al-Hadith academy.

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