The Saudi army has lost 113 of its members since the kingdom launched an offensive against Yemen's Shiite rebels in early November, a military commander said in remarks published Thursday. The Al Riyadh newspaper quoted Maj. Gen. Ali Zaid al-Khawaji as saying the dead include a senior Saudi officer whose body was found with two other troops after a battle last week to drive rebels out of a border village.
Al-Khawaji, the commander of the southern Saudi region, identified the dead officer as Lt. Col. Saeed Ma'tuq al-Omari from Saudi parachutist units and a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War. "There are field units searching for more bodies," al-Khawaji told the paper.
Last week, assistant defense minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan said the Saudis had 82 dead and 470 injured.
Saudi chief of staff Gen. Saleh ben Ali Al-Mohaya said the war against the rebels "is close to a guerrilla war."