Yemen tribesmen
Tribal fighters stand near a road linking the Yemeni capital Sanaa with the oil-producing province of Marib in June 2012Reuters

Fifteen people have been killed during clashes between two Yemeni tribes over a piece of land thought to be rich in oil, according to Agence France Presse.

Citing tribal sources, the agency reported that several more people were left injured as a result of firefights between Belhareth tribesmen and members of the Al-Butahif tribe.

Six members of the Al-Butahif were killed, while nine Belhareth tribesmen were killed in the clashes.

The two tribes are in dispute over the rights to a desert area that stretches between respective tribal provinces which is believed to contain oil.

The Al-Butahif tribe hails from the eastern province of Marib, while the Belhareth come from the adjacent Shabwa province.

The two tribes first clashed over the disputed land last year, as fighting continued sporadically for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Shabwa and Marib provinces are rich in oil and gas reserves and have been the scene of attacks by tribesmen over recent months.

The tribal country is awash with firearms and there are thought to be an average of three weapons per person throughout Yemen.