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Tribal leaders and Shiite Zaidi rebels in northern Yemen, also known as Huthis, gather in Harf Sufyan in 2010. - AFP (File Photo)

SANAA: A strong explosion late Sunday rocked a government administration complex held by Zaidi Shiite rebels in northern Yemen, killing one person and wounding three, a rebel source said.

The blast happened while leaders of the Shiite rebellion were meeting in the complex at Al-Matamma, a city in Al-Jawf province, northeast of the capital Sanaa, witnesses said.

The complex was in flames and the explosion was heard in several neighbouring villages, witnesses and tribal sources added.

The blast came two days after the signing of a truce by the Shiite rebels and the Islamist Al-Islah party, in a bid to stop the fighting that since March has flared intermittently in the area near the border with Saudi Arabia.

Tribal sources, contacted by AFP from Sanaa, indicated it was a car bomb that claimed several victims without giving a precise number. But the rebel source quoting a provisional toll said one person had died and three were wounded.

Yemen's mountainous northern region is a stronghold of the Zaidis, also known as Huthis, who from 2004 fought six wars with central government forces before signing a truce in February 2010. The rebellion claimed thousands of lives.