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An al-Qaeda-linked group in central Yemen has attacked Houthi fighters and two tribes have clashed east of the capital Sanaa in violence that has claimed at least 15 lives, Al Jazeera has learnt.

The officials said the clashes in the city of Radaa in the central Bayda province broke out on Monday after al-Qaeda fighters attacked three positions manned by the Shia Houthi fighters, killing seven people.

In the city of Bayda, two more Houthis were killed when their car was targeted as they were patrolling the city. Another six killings were reported in Hajaf and Jardaa, after an offensive launched by local tribesmen.

Last year, the Houthis swept down from the north and captured Sanaa, a move that lead to widespread unrest in southern Arabian Peninsula country.

Yemen's al-Qaeda branch, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has since stepped up attacks against the Houthis.

Last week, a suicide bomber targeted the gate of a Houthi compound in Bayda, killing eight fighters, and clashes in three separate locations killed at least 25 fighters and seven al-Qaeda attackers.

On Sunday, five people were killed in clashes between two tribes, one pro-Houthi and the other opposed to the group, in the Maarib province east of Sanaa.

In January the Houthis disbanded parliament and declared their Revolutionary Committee the country's highest political body.

Their authority, however, does not extend to Yemen's once-independent south or to the lawless east, where the Sunni fighters of al-Qaeda have long maintained a presence despite US drone strikes and Yemeni military operations.

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled to the southern city of Aden last month, and says he is still the country's legitimate leader.

Source: Al Jazeera And Agencies