9 killed in Houthi rebel attack near Yemen’s capital: gov’t source

At least nine fighters were killed as the Yemeni government army defeated an overnight attack by the Houthi rebels to the northeast of the rebel-held capital Sanaa, a government security source said Saturday.

The Houthi attack late Friday night targeted positions of the government forces in the area of Najd al-Atak and the mountain of Salb in Nehm district, about 60 km northeast of Sanaa.

“At least eight rebels and one soldier were killed in the fighting and dozens from both sides injured,” the source in Nehm told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Houthi-run al-Masirah television said the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen launched 13 airstrikes on several areas in Nehm, without giving further details.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

The United Nations has called for a total cease-fire in Yemen to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.