Three Yemeni soldiers were killed on Tuesday in a clash with Shiite Huthi rebels in a northern stronghold of the insurgents, a military source said.
The gunfight erupted when rebels attacked an army position on the western outskirts of Amran city, the source said, adding that several soldiers were also wounded.
The battle lasted for a few hours, he said.
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Tensions remain high in Amran where Huthis have been trying to enforce their presence through armed parades and protests against the military.
But the suspected aim of the rebels is to enlarge their sphere of influence as the country is set to be divided into six federal regions, pushing out from their mountain strongholds in the far north to areas closer to the capital Sanaa.
The rebels complain that Yemen would be divided into rich and poor regions under the plan agreed in February following national talks that were part of Yemen's political transition.
The Huthis have fought the central government in Sanaa for years, complaining of marginalisation under former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted in 2012 following a year of protests.