Security forces are in control of the area where al-Huthi's supporters are concentrated, correspondent Murad Hashim said on Saturday.

Clashes subsided overnight ahead of a visit by mediators appointed by Yemen President Ali Abd Allah Salah to persuade al-Huthi to surrender following a stand-off between his supporters and security forces. Some 60 people have died since 20 June in the fighting. 

The mediators, who include members of parliament, dignitaries, clerics and al-Huthi's brother, have arrived in the area 240km north of capital Sanaa.  It is still unclear whether negotiations have started.

Allegations

Al-Huthi wants the government to cancel the arrest warrant against him, a demand rejected by the government.

The authorities believe al-Huthi, a leader of the Zaidi Shia sect in Saada, heads dissident group 'The Believing Youth' which has led violent protests against the United States and Israel at mosques.

Al-Huthi is also accused of attacks on the commander of the armed forces, government institutions, raiding mosques and attacking shaikhs to force them to preach anti-US sentiments, our correspondent said.

The cleric denies the allegations.