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Yemen loyalists battle rebels on two fronts

By AFP - Sep 17,2016 - Last updated at Sep 17,2016

ADEN — Yemeni pro-government forces battled Shiite Houthi rebels on two fronts Saturday, including east of Taez where they are struggling to break a siege of the southwestern city, military sources said.

"Five rebels and one of our soldiers were killed in the fighting" near Taez, a local pro-government commander, Fadl Hassan, told AFP.

He said loyalist forces drove rebels and their allies from five hills in the Sharija region on the borders of Taez and Lahj provinces.

"We are trying to break the siege [imposed by rebels] of Taez," Hassan said, adding that pro-government forces launched the operation from the eastern side of the city.

Forces loyal to the embattled government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi have struggled since the end of August to break the siege of Taez which the rebels have surrounded for more than a year.

Pro-government forces also clashed with rebels east of the Yemeni capital, with fighting concentrated in the strategic Sarwah region leading to Sanaa, military sources said.

The Houthis, who seized Sanaa two years ago, were putting up fierce resistance despite also coming under attack from Saudi-led coalition air strikes, the sources added.


Witnesses also reported air strikes targeting rebel positions in Nahm northeast of Sanaa, and in the coastal city of Hodeida to the west.

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