ADEN, Yemen, March 28 (Xinhua) -- At least 11 people were killed early on Tuesday in clashes between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels in the country's southern province of Lahj, a military official said.
"Ferocious clashes break out between dozens of heavily armed Houthi attackers and soldiers of the government's Fourth Brigade around the AlKarb area in the government-controlled province of Lahj," the local military official said on condition of anonymity.
Six Houthi fighters and five government soldiers died in the clashes, which forced many residents in nearby villages to flee their homes in search of shelters, said the official.
Following the clashes, local government authorities ordered their troops to stay vigilant and fend off the Houthis' attacks on Lahj, which is close to Aden, the temporary capital of the Yemeni government.
Despite calls from the international community for de-escalation and dialogue, the Houthis have continued their on-the-ground military attacks in the government-controlled provinces.
Following an increase in the number of Houthi attacks in the oil-rich provinces of Marib and Shabwa, Yemen's government on Friday warned of a possible return to a full-scale military conflict in the war-ravaged Arab country.
Yemen has witnessed sporadic armed confrontations between the local warring factions, after a cease-fire brokered by the United Nations in April last year expired six months later.
Since 2014, Yemen has been embroiled in a devastating civil war, with the Houthis fighting against the internationally-recognized government and its allies, which include a Saudi Arabia-led coalition.
The war has pushed the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of collapse, leaving millions of people without access to adequate food.