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18 dead as Yemen loyalists attack rebels on Red Sea coast

By AFP - Jan 07,2017 - Last updated at Jan 07,2017

Houthi militants patrol the site of a parade held by newly recruited Houthi fighters before the fighters head to the frontline to fight against government forces in Sanaa, Yemen, on Thursday (Reuters photo)

ADEN — Yemeni government forces attacked rebel positions on the Red Sea coast on Saturday sparking clashes in which seven soldiers, including a general, and 11 rebels were killed, loyalist military sources said.

The assault on the coastal district of Dhubab, just 30 kilometres north of the Bab Al Mandab strait linking the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, came after the government sent reinforcements from its headquarters in Aden.

The general was killed by rebel sniper fire, the military sources said.

The government and its allies in a Saudi-led coalition recaptured the strait in October 2015.

But the rebels still control nearly all of Yemen’s Red Sea coast to the north, posing what the coalition says is a threat to international shipping.

In September and October, two US warships and a United Arab Emirates vessel contracted to the coalition were targeted by missile fire from rebel-held territory.

The loyalist offensive failed to dislodge the rebels from their positions as they put up fierce resistance, leaving many wounded on both sides, the commander said.

 

The Yemeni conflict has killed more than 7,000 people since March 2015, according to the United Nations.

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