Sana’a: Six Al Houthi militants were killed in an attack in central Yemen on Friday, tribal sources said, as Al Qaida claimed it had killed dozens.

Ansarullah militiamen, also called Al Houthis, have captured many communities in western and central Yemen since taking the capital Sana’a on September 21.

But they have been met by fierce resistance from tribes and Al Qaida militants.

Tribal sources said that “unknown gunmen” killed six militiamen at an Al Houthi checkpoint in the central province of Baida, the scene of deadly fighting between the group and Al Qaida.

Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said on Twitter on Friday it had killed ‘70’ Al Houthi militiamen in several attacks in Rada, in Baida province.

The toll could not be confirmed from independent sources or from Ansarullah, which rarely acknowledges its casualties.

AQAP military chief Qassem Al Rimi vowed in November to launch fierce attacks against the militiamen.

“To Al Houthis we say: brace yourselves for horrors that will make the hair of children turn white,” he said.

AQAP, considered by Washington as the most dangerous arm of the organisation, said several of its attacks targeting Al Houthis were only a “warm-up”.

AQAP leader Nasser Al Wuhayshi has accused the Al Houthis of collaborating with the United States and Iran to destroy Sunni Muslims.