Yemen fighting and suicide bomb kill 48

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels patrol through the town of al-Bab shortly after they captured it from the Islamic State (IS) group (AFP Photo/Nazeer al-Khatib)

Aden (AFP) - A suicide bomber killed eight people at a Yemeni army base Friday as clashes between pro-government forces and Huthi rebels left 35 dead and five civilians died in shelling, security and local officials said.

The bomber blew up his vehicle at the entrance to Najda Camp in Abyan province's capital Zinjibar, just 55 kilometres (33 miles) from second city Aden where the government is based.

The attacker failed to get through the gate and heavy exchanges of fire ensued as other assailants tried to penetrate it.

The explosives were concealed in the back of a pick-up truck under a pile of firewood, the sources said.

Al-Qaeda, which has taken advantage of nearly two years of fighting between loyalists and rebels who control the capital Sanaa to entrench their presence in swathes of the south, claimed responsibility for the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.

Further north, in the central province of Baida, fierce clashes erupted Friday between pro-government tribes and Shiite Huthi rebels, a local official said.

Twenty rebels and six tribal fighters were killed in heavy fighting near Walad Rabi district, the source said, adding that the clashes flared when the Huthis tried to take control of a tribal territory.

Nine other rebels died when tribal fighters ambushed their convoy in the Sawmaa region, another area of tension between rebels and local tribes, the official said.

Relations are tense between the Huthis and tribal fighters are in central Yemen, where the rebels, who hail from the country's north, have sought to expand the territory under their control.

In Marib, east of Sanaa, five civilians were killed on Friday in shelling blamed on Huthi fighters, local officials said.