At least 6 tribesmen and 6 government soldiers have been killed in fierce clashes in southern Yemen sparked by protests over jobs.
The shootout broke out after authorities sent police enforcements to the Ausailan district of Shabwa province, around 580 kilometers south-east of the capital Sana’a.
Forces were sent to the area after a soldier was killed in an ambush set up by armed tribesmen.
The fighting took place amid a dispute between authorities and tribesmen over jobs with foreign oil companies exploring for oil in Shabwa.
Shabwa, on the Arabian Sea, was the scene of a violent protest on March 5 when hundreds of Yemeni workers, outraged by an alleged desecration of the holy Koran by a French engineer, destroyed facilities and houses of foreign experts at a giant gas-exporting project.
US ally Yemen is a small producer of oil with output of around 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) and exports of about 200,000 bpd.