Yemen's government is escalating its internal conflicts that threaten to throw the country into greater chaos even as it ramps up the fight against Al Qaeda with U.S. help.

The military says that Yemeni troops have launched new assaults against Shiite rebels in the north, killing dozens of rebels. The rebellion has been raging for years on the capital's northern doorstep.

Also, lethal clashes erupted in the past week between protesters and security forces struggling to put an end to a secessionist movement in the once-independent south.

The violence comes as counter-terror forces on Saturday conducted exercises outside San'a, attacking a mock Al Qaeda hideout and practicing a hostage-rescue operation.