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Al-Qaida Militants Kill 18 Houthi Rebels in Yemen Violence

A Houthi Shiite rebel mans a machine gun mounted on a military truck in Sanaa, Yemen, Oct. 20, 2014.

Al-Qaida militants have killed at least 18 Shi'ite rebels in a suicide bomb attack and other attacks near Yemen's capital, Sana'a.

Authorities said Monday the victims of the latest violence in the country were members of the Houthi movement who had taken over the capital last month and then advanced farther.

Most of the rebels were killed in a car bombing in Rada that targeted the house of a top local official with the party of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis' advance is believed to have been made with the help of Saleh's supporters among tribes and in the military.

Al-Qaida and Houthi fighters engaged in hours of heavy fighting in Rada, with the city rocked by large explosions.

The weak Yemen central government led by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has been unable to halt the violence despite a peace agreement brokered by the United Nations that called for the Houthis to withdraw from the capital.