At least eight people were killed on Friday in an attack launched by the Houthi fighters on military sites of the Yemeni government forces in the southern province of Lahj, a local military official said.
"A group of Houthi fighters carried out an attack and attempted to advance militarily on the ground in order to capture key sites controlled by the government forces in the northern part of Lahj province," the official added on condition of anonymity on Friday.
The Houthi attack sparked intense fighting, leaving at least five rebels and three government soldiers killed, he said, adding the rebel fighters were forced to retreat following hours of intense fighting, Xinhua news agency reported.
Following the attack, large Houthi reinforcements were dispatched from the neighbouring province of Taiz to key areas located near Lahj that houses a number of military bases of the Yemeni government forces, according to the official.
Earlier this month, local officials said Yemen's warring parties are gearing up for new waves of conflict in 2023 amid a lack of decisive steps toward sustainable peace.
Various regions in Yemen have witnessed sporadic armed confrontations between the local warring factions after a cease-fire brokered by the UN in April expired in October last year.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi militia stormed several northern cities and forced the Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa.