The brother of the leader of Yemen's Houthi fighters was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail on Saturday, as Yemeni forces said they killed eleven members of the group.
Yahya al-Houthi, a parliamentarian who has been based in Germany since leaving Yemen three years ago, is the brother of Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the fighters based in the north of the Arabian Peninsula country.
At the end of a trial which began in October, Yahya al-Houthi was convicted of supporting the rebellion.
The conflict with the northern fighters, who complain of social, religious and economic discrimination, started in 2004, but intensified last year.
The defence ministry's online newspaper, September 26, said on Saturday that eleven Houthi fighters were killed in their stronghold of Saada.
Last week Yemen rejected a truce offer from the fighters because they did not promise to end hostilities against neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh, which last month declared a full victory over the Houthis, was drawn into the conflict in November after rebels seized some Saudi territory. The rebels had accused Riyadh of letting Yemen use its territory for attacks on their positions.
ReutersLast Mod: 06 Şubat 2010, 16:50