The leader of Yemeni Houthis fighting the central government, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, has been seriously wounded, Yemen's state news agency claimed on Tuesday.
There was no immediate confirmation of the report from the Houthis, who said on their website that fighting was continuing in a strategic area of Yemen bordering Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter.
"According to the information available to us, Houthi sustained wounds to his leg and hand, and his leg was amputated after that," a local government official from the northern province of Saada, told Reuters.
The official said Houthi was wounded about a month ago, but gave no details as to where. A government website reported last month that Houthi may have died after being severely wounded by government forces. That was never confirmed.
"He has been unable to appear again after this and has handed the leadership of the rebellion to his brother-in-law, Youssef al-Madani," the official said, adding that Houthi had returned to his home village for treatment.
On their website, the Houthis said air strikes by Saudi forces and ground battles were still in progress on Tuesday, but made no mention of any changes to their leadership.
The conflict has killed hundreds and displaced more than 200,000 people.
The government source in Saada did not say when Houthi had entrusted the rebellion to his relative.