Shi'ites shout slogans during a demonstration in Sana'a to show support to Shi'ite rebels fighting against Sunni Salafists in the north of Yemen November 8, 2013. Image Credit: REUTERS

Sana’a: Fighting in northern Yemen between Al Houthis and Salafists stopped on Sunday as a ceasefire agreement, brokered by government mediators, took effect, a Yemeni official said.

Clashes have killed at least 100 people since they broke out on October 30 when Al Houthi fighters, who control much of Saada province on the border with Saudi Arabia, accused Salafist rivals in the town of Damaj of recruiting thousands of foreign fighters to prepare to attack them.

The Salafists say the foreigners are students seeking to deepen their knowledge of Islam.

“The confrontations have ended in Saada and the ceasefire took effect half an hour ago,” Yehia Abu Esbaa, head of a presidential committee tasked with ending the fighting, said by telephone from Damaj.

Sectarian rivalry in Damaj has cast a shadow over reconciliation efforts in Yemen, a neighbour of top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and home to one of Al Qaida’s most active wings.

An attempt to broker a ceasefire last week collapsed less than a day after it was declared, but the lull in fighting enabled Red Cross officials to evacuate nearly 70 people from Damaj.