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SANAA, Yemen, At least 22 people were killed in battles between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels, in Nehm front line, north-east of Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa, on Tuesday.

The battles erupted earlier Tuesday at al-Minsa mountain, which overlooks the regular road, linking rebel-held Sanaa and government-held Marib province.

"Government forces, backed by Saudi-led coalition war planes, were trying to advance into sites near Sanaa, which was controlled by Houthis, supported by forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah," the source said.

"Neither advance nor progress was made by any sides, during the battles, as the fighting is still ongoing."

The source added that two soldiers were killed and four others wounded, in the government forces, while the Houthis lost nearly 20 militants in the battles.

Battles in Nehm, about 90 km north-east of Sanaa, flared up regularly, as the government forces have been trying to make advance into the capital, of which Houthis seized control in late 2014.

The war pits the Iranian-allied Shiite Houthi rebel movement, against a Sunni Saudi-led military coalition, after Houthis toppled Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government more than two years ago.

The Saudi-led coalition forces backing Hadi, started military intervention and sea-air-land siege in Mar, 2015, trying to recapture territories, including Sanaa, and reinstate Hadi to power.

Hadi's forces have managed to completely liberate six southern provinces, out of the total 23, last year.

The country has also been hit by a deadly cholera outbreak and is on the edge of famine.


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