27 dead in heavy fighting as army closes in on taiz palace
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
Arab Today, arab today

27 dead in heavy fighting as army closes in on Taiz palace

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today 27 dead in heavy fighting as army closes in on Taiz palace

A pro-government fighter sits in the back of a military truck during clashes with Houthi militias
Aden - Arab Today

Yemeni government forces fought Saturday to capture a rebel-held presidential palace in the southwestern province of Taiz after clashes that killed 27 people, medics and military sources said.

Most of Taiz province is controlled by Iran-backed Houthi militias, who are battling forces allied with UN-backed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi based in the provincial capital.

Medics at the rebel-controlled Thamar Government Hospital in Taiz, Yemen’s third city, said 19 Houthis had been killed in clashes over the past 24 hours.

Military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, reported eight soldiers dead during the same period as the army closed in on the presidential palace.

The palace is under the control of the Houthis who are allied with former soldiers loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A Saudi-led coalition has fought in Yemen for the past two years on the side of Hadi’s government.

A statement on the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Saturday said pro-government Yemeni forces had captured the palace in Taiz.

But military sources on the ground denied this, telling AFP that while government forces were closing in on the palace, they had not yet seized it.

Meanwhile, Qatar said on Saturday that six of its soldiers were wounded on the Saudi border with Yemen while serving in the Saudi-led military coalition.

Qatar’s Defense Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency QNA that the six were injured “while conducting their duties within the Qatari contingent defending the southern borders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

It gave no further details on the incident.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera television reported in 2015 that Qatar had deployed 1,000 troops to Yemen. Other reports said the force was only being stationed at the Saudi border with Yemen.

Qatari media have reported that at least four soldiers have died while serving in the Saudi-led coalition.

Yemen’s conflict has killed more than 8,000 people and wounded tens of thousands, according to the UN’s World Health Organization.

More than 500 people have died of cholera and another 55,200 left ill in recent weeks in the second outbreak of the deadly infection in less than a year in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world.

The UN has warned that 17 million people, or two-thirds of the population, face a serious threat of famine this year.

Source: Arab News

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