World Bulletin/News Desk
Over 7,700 Yemenis were killed over the course of 2014 due to armed clashes, according to a study published by a Yemeni NGO late Saturday.
The study conducted by Abaad Studies and Research Center noted that the 2014 figures represent a threefold increase from the toll of 2011, when a popular uprising broke out against the country's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Sources for the figures cited in the study were not revealed.
According to the study, the Yemeni military lost more than 1,000 troops during 2014, of which at least 600 were killed by members of the Shiite Houthi militant group.
The remaining 400 Yemeni troops were killed mostly by Al-Qaeda militants and other armed groups, the study said.
In terms of civilian casualties, the study estimates that more than 1,200 people were killed during armed clashes in 2014.
The study also claims that over 5,000 Houthis were killed across Yemen in 2014.
Losses within the ranks of Al-Qaeda in Yemen are estimated between 400 and 500, the study said.
For the last several months, Yemen's Shiite Houthi group – which boasts thousands of diehard supporters – has been trying to step up its armed presence across the fractious country.
The Houthi movement has recently emerged as a political and military power in Yemen after taking over Sanaa and seeking to extend its influence into other provinces.
The Houthis' growing power has pitted the group against Sunni tribes and Al-Qaeda, the latter of which is said to still be active in certain parts of the country.
The recent ascendance of the Shiite Houthis has also caused concern in predominantly Sunni-Muslim Gulf States.
Senior army official assassinated
As clashes continue in Yemen, an Al-Qaeda-linked group claimed to have killed two army troops in an ambush in the southern province of Shabwah on Saturday evening.
"Our fighters have ambushed an army vehicle in the area between Saieed and Dalaa in Shabwah, leaving two soldiers dead," Ansar al-Sharia militant group said on Twitter early Sunday.
The group did not say whether any of its militants were killed in the attack.
Meanwhile, a senior Yemeni army official was assassinated by unidentified gunmen also in Shabwah, a local official said Sunday.
"Unidentified gunmen killed Col. Hamoud Zarhani, commander of the 21st Brigade, as he drove his car through the center of provincial capital Ataq," the official, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
The gunmen fled the scene following the attack, he added.
No group has claimed responsibility for the deadly shooting yet.
Central Yemen blast leaves 5 Houthis dead
The death toll from an explosion that took place in Yemen's central province of Dhamar on Sunday has risen to five, a medical source said.
The blast also left 24 other people injured, the source added, noting that both the dead and injured victims belonged to the Shiite Houthi movement.
"All victims were taken to hospital after a bomb went off near a building used as a base by Houthis," the source from Dhamar's Public Hospital told The Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
He added that the dead victims included a journalist who was filming an attempt by Houthis to defuse the bomb before it went off.
"Fourteen out of the 24 injured victims were transferred to hospitals in capital Sanaa due to their serious injuries," the source said.
Earlier Sunday, the same source told AA that three Houthi militants were killed in a bomb blast after they had failed to defuse the bomb.
AA could not immediately obtain comments from the Houthi leadership on the blast.Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2015, 16:48