One killed as Saudi forces, Houthis clash on Yemen border
Yemeni men stand on a street as smoke billows following reported air strikes on the residence of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh on May 10, 2015, in the capital Sanaa. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)
Saudi forces and Houthi rebels exchanged heavy artillery and rocket fire on the Yemen border, killing one and injuring four, a day before a five-day ceasefire is expected to start, the Saudi Civil Defense Department said Monday.
The latest Saudi casualty brings the total number to 11 since Houthis started firing across the border into Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis said they launched mortars and Katyusa rockets into the Saudi border towns of Jizan and Najran, where a school and residential area came under fire, after Saudi Arabia fired more than 150 rockets at Saada and Hajjah provinces. Civil Defense spokesman Ali al-Shahrani said one person was killed, while three foreigners and a child were injured.
Saudi Arabia also hit the Shiite group in the central city of Taiz, east of Sanaa in the oil-producing Marib province, Reuters reported.
Saudi Arabia said the Houthis had crossed a "red line" when they began their assault across Yemen. In retaliation the kingdom declared the entire Saada province, a Houthi stronghold on the border, a target for their airstrikes and artillery.
The Saudi-led coalition supporting the fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has been conducting airstrikes against the Houthi rebels since March 26. Saudi Arabia agreed to begin a five-day ceasefire Tuesday to allow Yemen access to humanitarian aid.