Dubai: The leader of the Yemeni Shi'ite rebels fighting the government, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, has been seriously wounded, state media on Tuesday quoted a Yemeni official as saying.
There was no immediate confirmation from the rebels and there were no details of when or where he was wounded.
The official news agency Saba said Houthi had been wounded and was back in his home village, citing an interview with Deputy Prime Minister for Internal Affairs Sadeq Aburas in the United Arab Emirates al-Khaleej newspaper.
Shi'ite rebels from the Zaidi sect have been fighting government troops in mountainous north Yemen since 2004, complaining of marginalization. The conflict has killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands.
On their website, the rebels said air strikes by Saudi forces and ground battles were still in progress on Tuesday.
The rebels said government troops had begun advancing on the strategic Jabal Dukhan area which straddles the Saudi border, and added that dozens had been killed in fighting there in the last few days.
First Published: Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 17:52