36 killed in clashes in Yemen
Supporters of the Houthi movement attend the funeral of senior Houthi leader Lutf al-Quhom (AFP/file)
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At least 36 people were killed on Saturday in clashes between pro-government forces and Shia Houthi militants in Yemen.
Pro-government forces launched a surprise attack on a Houthi location in north-western Al-Bayda’ province in central Yemen, local commander Mustafa Hussein al-Baydani told Anadolu Agency.
“Seven Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh were killed in the attack,” he said.
Nine Houthis and allied forces were also killed in two ambushes set by pro-government fighters in the province, al-Baydani said.
Two more Houthis were shot dead by a pro-government sniper in the province’s Sablatu al-Jarm district, he said.
Meanwhile, ten Houthi militants and six government forces were killed in clashes in the northern al-Jawf province on Saturday.
Yemen has been racked by chaos since late 2014, when the Shia Houthi group and their allies overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.
In March of last year, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive military campaign in Yemen aimed at reversing Houthi gains and restoring Hadi’s embattled government.
In April of this year, the Yemeni government and the Houthis entered into UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait aimed at resolving the conflict, in which more than 6,400 people have been killed and another 2.5 million forced to flee their homes.
by Tawfiq Ali & Ali Owaidah