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Houthis clash with pro-govt forces in Yemen

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Aden (Yemen), March 29

Intense clashes broke out between pro-government forces and Houthi fighters in Yemen’s southern province of Al-Dhalea, leaving at least 10 people dead and 15 others injured, a military official told the media.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Thursday that the Houthis launched a large assault late Wednesday on the Bab Ghalaq fronts, northwest of Al-Dhalea province, sparking fierce fighting with soldiers of the joint pro-government Yemeni forces stationed there, Xinhua news agency reported.

The official confirmed that the fighting resulted in the killing of four soldiers and six Houthi fighters, while 15 others from both sides were injured. The critically injured pro-government soldiers were transferred to hospitals in the southern port city of Aden for treatment.

The recent escalation occurred despite appeals by the United Nations for restraint from both sides to protect tentative progress toward ending Yemen’s nine-year civil war.

During a UN Security Council session last week, UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg urged the warring parties to reduce rising hostilities and “refrain from provocations” that could jeopardise nascent peace efforts.

Yemen’s protracted conflict erupted in 2014 when the Houthis seized control of the capital Sanaa, sparking one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises.

In 2015, a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in an attempt to restore the government.

Despite multiple diplomatic endeavours over the years, neither side has demonstrated the requisite will to revive negotiations aimed at resolving the conflict that, according to United Nations estimates, has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and pushed millions more to the brink of famine.

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