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Saudi-led warplanes pound rebels in south Yemen

ADEN: A Saudi-led coalition pressed on with air strikes Thursday against Shiite rebels in south Yemen where fierce clashes raged between the insurgents and southern pro-government fighters, sources said.

Warplanes hit Huthi rebel positions in the main southern city of Aden, in the districts of Khor Maksar and Dar Saad, helping pro-government forces to retake positions, sources among the southern fighters said.

Eight people were killed in overnight clashes in Aden, including five pro-government fighters and three civilians, according to the city’s health chief Al-Khader Laswar.

He said 44 others were wounded. Details of losses on the rebel side were not available.

Shiite Huthi fighters backed by troops loyal to former strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh had made advances in Aden, which is now defended by local militia dubbed “popular resistance” units that have sided with forces loyal to embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Saudi Arabia assembled a multi-country coalition last month that launched attacks on the rebels following a request by Hadi, who has since fled Aden to Riyadh.

Although the coalition said it had halted its air campaign on April 21, strikes have continued to pound rebel positions throughout Yemen.

Overnight raids targeted Huthis in the southern provinces of Lahj and Abyan, southern fighters said.

The United Nations says more than 1,000 people have been killed in fighting in Yemen since late March. -AFP

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