Sana’a: At least 210 people have been killed in two months of fighting between Al Houthi rebels and Salafists in northern Yemen, a Salafist spokesman said on Monday.

The violence erupted on October 30 when Al Houthi rebels who control much of the northern Saada province accused Salafists 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.

Surour Al Wadi’i, a Salafist spokesman, said the death toll among Salafists had risen to 210, with 620 wounded.

No casualty figures were available for Al Houthis.

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.