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Warplanes hit Houthi base in central Yemen, students reported killed

SANAA: Warplanes from a Saudi-led air coalition on Tuesday bombed a military base in central Yemen controlled by Houthi fighters and their army allies, and a website of the Houthi-run defense ministry said two students were killed at a neighboring school.

Military sources said five bombs were dropped on the Republican Guard base near the city of Ibb, 160 km (100 miles) south of the capital Sanaa, apparently targeting air defense units and soldiers’ quarters.

They said the commander of the base was wounded. The september26 website said two students were killed, while the Houthis’ Maseerah television reported three student deaths.

Overnight air raids also hit Houthi-held weapons stores near Sanaa and further north in Sanhan, birthplace of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has allied himself and his army loyalists with the Shi’ite Muslim Houthi fighters.

Other raids targeted military positions on the Red Sea coast near the port of Hodaida and Yemen’s northern provinces of Saadah and Hajja along the border with Saudi Arabia, and a ground forces base at Makairas, 150 km (90 miles) northeast of Aden, the sources said.

Regional Sunni Muslim power Saudi Arabia, alarmed by the growing strength of the Iran-allied Houthis on its southern doorstep, launched air strikes in a coalition made up mainly of four Gulf Arab allies against the Houthis nearly two weeks ago.

The Houthi fighters and the pro-Saleh army units took over Sanaa in September and last month launched an advance on the southern city of Aden, stronghold of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. He has now fled the country and is based in Saudi Arabia.

Aden residents said Houthi forces and their allies have reached the perimeter of the city’s main port, but reported relative calm in the city on Tuesday.

Heavy air strikes in southern provinces around Aden on Monday appeared to push back the Houthis from al-Anad military base, north of the port city, and also hit a government complex and military base on the edge of the southern town of Dhalea where the Houthis were based.

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