The violence started when a woman hurled a shoe at the head of the Houthi delegation during a press conference.
A fistfight erupted on the sidelines of peace talks in Geneva on Thursday between supporters of different warring factions in Yemen, underlining the divisions that have thwarted United Nations efforts broker a truce in the near three-month conflict.
Yemeni opponents of the Houthi forces that drove the government into exile interrupted a news conference by Houthi officials, throwing shoes and insulting them as “criminals” and “dogs” who were “killing the children of south Yemen”.
A Saudi-led coalition has been launching air raids against the Iran-allied Houthis since late March in a campaign to restore the exiled government and back its armed supporters.
The fighting continued on Thursday, with around 30 killed in clashes between Houthis and tribesmen in the central province of Mareb, tribal sources said, while the capital Sanaa was hit by air strikes targeting Houthi military sites.
The peace talks are struggling to bring together the rival factions and, with discussions due to conclude on Friday or Saturday, delegates have reported little progress toward the ceasefire the UN has requested.
Hamza Al-Houthi, head of the Houthi delegation to the UN-sponsored talks, stayed composed throughout the brawl that began when a woman in a pink headscarf went to the podium and threw a shoe at him, a particular insult in the Arab world.