Yemen conflict intensifies, UN warns of civil war

The conflict in Yemen has intensified as Shiite militia clash with local fighters in the south, with the United Nations warning that the country is on the brink of a full blown civil war.

Thousands of Shiite militia, known as Houthis, clashed with Sunni tribes in the south, in a campaign aimed at capturing the southern city of Arden.

Yemen is heavily divided, with the North controlled by the Houthis, who are allegedly backed by Iran, and the South controlled by supporters of ousted President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Intensifying fighting, suicide bombings and the spread of Sunni extremist groups including Al-Qaeda, has caused the UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar to warn that the country is on the brink of civil war and compared the situation in Yemen to the wars in Libya and Syria.

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