Sunday, March 7

25 dead in latest clashes in southern Yemen


ADEN: Fierce fighting between Iran-backed Shiite rebels and government forces in southern Yemen killed at least 25 people overnight, military and medical officials said on Saturday.

The clashes were followed by a wave of pre-dawn air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition against positions of the Huthi Shiite rebels in Aden, the main southern city in conflict-hit Yemen.

Street fighting in Aden between the Huthis and forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi cost the lives of at least seven combatants in a 12-hour period, said a health official in the city.

Among them were “an elderly woman, a man and a child killed by snipers” from the rebel forces, the official said, giving the same death toll as medical sources announced on Friday night.

A tank shell fired by pro-government militias known as “Popular Committees” killed six Huthi fighters at Khor Maksar, a district of Aden held by the Shiite rebels, according to a military source.

Elsewhere, Sunni tribesmen who support Hadi ambushed and killed 12 rebels on the road between Taez to Lahj as they made their way to Aden, military sources said.

To the east, hundreds of tribesmen massed Saturday around Ataq aiming to take over the city two days after it was overrun by Huthis and soldiers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, tribal sources said.

The rebel fighters seized government buildings and military camps in the capital of Shabwa, a mainly Sunni province known as a stronghold of Al-Qaeda in southeastern Yemen, according to sources.

The Saudi-led coalition carried out air strikes on rebel positions in Ataq, after similar raids late Friday hit camps, weapons and ammunition storage facilities around Sanaa and northern Yemen, said witnesses. – AFP