At least 24 people were killed this morning in heavy fighting between Yemeni soldiers and a Shiite insurgent group in the north of the country.

According to a tribal source speaking to Gulf News, the military was supported by the Al Islah Party against Zaidi insurgents in a clash over control of local government offices in Hizm, capital of Jawf province.

“The army and Al Islah lost eight men, while the rebels lost twice that number, and there have been dozens of wounded on both sides,” one of the sources said.

Earlier this month, the Zaidi insurgents, as well as other separatist activists in the south, rejected a government plan to transform Yemen into a six-region federation as part of the political transition that followed the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year authoritarian rule as president in 2012.

The fighting, according to Gulf News, is part of an effort by the insurgents to seize Hizm and integrate all of Jawf province into the Azal region, “one of four to be created in the north, that includes their stronghold of Saada province.”