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16 dead in fighting for south Yemen province

By AFP - Nov 29,2015 - Last updated at Nov 29,2015

Armed Yemeni tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees, supporting forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, monitor the area of Sirwah west of Marib city, on Sunday (AFP photo)

ADEN — Yemeni loyalists supported by a Saudi-led coalition battled Sunday to oust Iran-backed rebels from a southern province where they have made gains in recent weeks, with at least 16 reported dead.

Ground fighting and air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition killed 12 rebels in Daleh province, military sources said. Four loyalists were also killed.

Daleh is one of five southern provinces which the coalition-backed loyalists retook from the rebels in a July offensive.

But the Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies managed to recapture the province's second-largest city, Damt, earlier this month.

In the oil-rich Marib province east of the capital Sanaa, coalition strikes on rebel military vehicles meanwhile killed eight militiamen, army sources there said.

Loyalists control Marib city but have so far failed to secure the rest of the province, the source of much of Yemen's oil output.

In third city Taez, in Yemen's southwest, where a loyalist garrison has been under rebel siege for months, three civilians were killed and at least 20 wounded by rebel mortar fire late on Saturday, medical and military sources said.

Loyalist troops and their coalition backers launched an offensive to try to break the siege earlier this month but it has made little headway.

 

In rebel-held Sanaa, coalition aircraft carried out what a military source described as the heaviest strikes in weeks.

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