A car bomb in Taiz has killed a leading member of Yemen's powerful Sunni al-Islah (Congregation for Reform) party, whose supporters have been battling Shia Houthi fighters, police have said.

The director-general of the Taiz police said Sadiq Ali Mansour al-Haidary, al-Islah's assistant secretary-general, was killed instantly when an explosive device attached to his car door went off, the AP news agency reported.

The official, Mutaher Al-Shaeiby, said police were investigating the assassination in the city, located in the Yemeni Highlands, and had apprehended a number of suspects.

Supporters of al-Islah have been resisting an advance by Houthi fighters who overran the capital Sanaa on September 21 and who have since expanding their influence in other parts of the country.

Earlier this month, the Houthi fighters attacked the regional headquarters of al-Islah in the southwestern city of Ibb, killing three people.

Mansur's murder comes just over two weeks after another politician, Mohammed Abdulmalik al-Mutawakil, the secretary-general of the liberal Union of Popular Forces, was gunned down in Sanaa.

Separately on Tuesday, Houthi gunmen kidnapped Yemeni activists Tariq Sirour and Maher Jameel in Hodeidah province and took them to an unknown location.

Activists protested in Ibb province, demanding the departure of armed groups from the province.

They also called on the government to reassert its authority in the country and investigate the abduction of citizens by the armed groups.

Source: Agencies