Insurgents ambushed a military convoy on Thursday, killing six including an officer, in the province of Saada. Government troops countered by attacking the rebels and killing five of them, a government source said on Friday.

 

Yemen says insurgents loyal to al-Huthi want to instal clerical rule and preach violence against the United States and Israel. The group is not linked to al-Qaida.

 

Al-Huthi belongs to the Zaidi Muslim sect, which mixes Sunni and Shia beliefs. The sect is named after its founder Zaid bin Ali, a descendent of Prophet Muhammad.

 

Fierce fighting first broke out in 2004 in the north, during which al-Huthi was killed along with 200 insurgents.

 

A new round of clashes, which the government blamed on al-Huthi's father Shaikh Badr al-Din, erupted in 2005.

 

Later, the elder al-Huthi agreed to stop fighting and Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president, ordered an amnesty in September for all of al-Huthi's jailed supporters.

 

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida leader Osama bin

Laden and the whole Arab race, joined the US-led "war on terrorism" after the 11 September 2001, attacks on the United States and al-Qaida-linked attacks in the traditional Arab country.