At least seven people were killed in fighting between northern Shi'ite fighters and pro-government tribesmen in northern Yemen on Monday, a tribal official said, as delegations prepared for peace talks in Qatar.
Yemeni officials and rebels are in the Qatari capital Doha to try to shore up a fragile northern truce with the help of Qatari mediation in talks expected to start later this week.
At least four tribesmen and three fighters were killed in the town of Huth, about 100 km (60 miles) north of Sanaa, and the tribesmen took dozens of rebel fighters captive, the tribal official told Reuters.
The fighting broke out as government-allied tribesmen tried to search homes for weapons believed to have been smuggled in by northern supporters, independent news websites said.
There was no immediate comment from the rebels on their website.
Qatar, trying to bolster its image as a regional Gulf Arab peacemaker, brokered a north Yemen peace accord in 2008 before the region slipped back into a civil war that last year drew in top oil exporter and regional power Saudi Arabia.
Yemen reached a new truce with rebels in February to halt sporadic fighting that has displaced 350,000 people since 2005, and officials said this week's Doha talks would focus on efforts to enhance peace in the north rebel stronghold of Saada.
ReutersLast Mod: 24 Ağustos 2010, 11:32