[Children who lived in Amran province sit on the street outside the presidential palace in Sana'a on July 8, seeking for shelters after they fled homes in Amran province where fierce fighting erupted between army and rebels. (Xinhua)]
SANAA, (Xinhua) : At least 290 people have been killed this month in clashes between the Yemeni army and Shiite rebels in Yemen’s northern provinces of Amran and al-Jouf, an interior ministry official said Tuesday.
About 50 soldiers and 240 rebels were killed and dozens of others wounded in the clashes in Amran and al-Jouf since July 4 following the collapse of the latest truce, an official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Local media on Tuesday published photos that showed dozens of bodies of the rebels on the streets in Amran city, the provincial capital of Amran province, as well as al-Safra and Barakish districts of al-Jouf province.
Military reinforcements were seen arriving Tuesday at the main entrance of Amran, about 50 km north of the capital Sanaa.
Early this month, 17 civilians were killed and dozens of local residents injured in the clashes in Amran province, according to residents and medics.
The government and Shiite rebels signed two ceasefire deals in June, but the two sides failed to abide by the deals. The officials accused the rebels of seeking to expand control over the country’s northern regions. However, the rebels denied, saying they seek to provide protection to their tribal followers from the Sunni tribes.
During the conflicts that broke out in October 2013, dozens of soldiers and rebels were killed in sporadic battles in the northern provinces and northern suburbs of Sanaa.
According to the UN humanitarian agencies in Yemen, up to 40, 000 people have been displaced by the conflicts in Amran since October 2013, about half of whom fled their homes in May. Some of them were hiding in caves in nearby mountains without enough food and clean water.