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More than 80 Yemen rebels killed near Marib: Saudi-led coalition

Fighters loyal to Yemen’s Houthi rebels wait on guard. Photo: AFP/File

RIYADH: A Saudi-led coalition said Wednesday it killed more than 82 Houthi rebels in air strikes near Yemen’s strategic city of Marib, during a second week of intense reported bombing.

The Houthis rarely comment on losses, and the numbers could not be independently verified by AFP.

This is the tenth consecutive day that the coalition has announced strikes around Marib, reporting a total of around 1,300 rebel fatalities.

Most of the previously announced strikes were in Abdiya about 100 kilometres from Marib — the internationally recognised government’s last bastion in oil-rich northern Yemen.

“Operations targeted 11 military vehicles and killed more than 82 terrorist elements” in the past 24 hours in the districts of Al-Jawba and Al-Kassara, the coalition fighting in Yemen said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Al-Jawba lies about 50 kilometres south of the city and Al-Kassara is about 30 kilometres northwest.

According to a government military official on Wednesday, the Houthis have made “small advances” in Al-Jawba amid clashes with loyalist troops.

The Houthis began a major push to seize Marib in February and have renewed their offensive since September after a lull.

The Yemeni civil war began in 2014 when the Houthi seized the capital Sanaa, 120 kilometres west of Marib, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.

Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The seven years of conflict have killed or injured at least 10,000 children, the United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF, said on Tuesday after a mission to the country.

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