ADEN (AFP) – A suicide bomber killed eight people at a Yemeni army base Friday as clashes between pro-government fighters and Huthi rebels left 35 dead, security sources and a local official said.
The bomber blew up his vehicle at the entrance to Najda Camp in Abyan province s capital Zinjibar, just 55 kilometres (33 miles) from second city Aden where the government is based.
The attacker failed to get through the gate and heavy exchanges of fire ensued as other assailants tried to penetrate it.
The explosives were concealed in the back of a pick-up truck under a pile of firewood, the sources said.
There was no immediate claim for the attack, but a military source said it bore the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda.
The jihadist network has taken advantage of nearly two years of fighting between government forces and Shiite rebels who control the capital Sanaa to entrench its presence in swathes of the south.
The jihadists briefly overran two towns in Abyan province earlier this year.
Further north, in the central province of Baida, fierce clashes erupted Friday between pro-government tribes and Shiite Huthi rebels, a local official said.
Twenty rebels and six tribal fighters were killed in heavy fighting near Walad Rabi district, the source said, adding that the clashes flared when the Huthis tried to take control of a tribal territory.
Nine other rebels died when tribal fighters ambushed their convoy in the Sawmaa region, another area of tension between rebels and local tribes, the official said.
Relations are tense between the Huthis and tribal fighters are in central Yemen, where the rebels, who hail from the country s north, have sought to expand the territory under their control.