Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 12:41 UK

Shia rebel clashes in north Yemen

Yemen map

Reports from Yemen say at least eight people have been killed in overnight clashes between Shia rebels and pro-government forces.

The confrontation took place near Haydan, in the northern Saada province, where fighters loyal to rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi are based.

Hundreds of people have been killed since the conflict broke out in 2004.

The Yemeni government says the rebels want to overthrow it and impose Shia religious law.

The rebels say they are defending their community against discrimination and what they call aggressive acts by the government.

Reports say that both sides used heavy weapons in the clashes.

Qatari envoys have been trying to broker a truce between the government and the rebels.

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