ADEN, Yemen-- A helicopter belonging to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition crashed in Yemen's government-controlled province of Mahra, killing a Saudi pilot and co-pilot, a security official told Xinhua.

The official of the Supreme Security Committee in Mahra, who asked to remain anonymous, said that "the Saudi-led helicopter crashed while conducting a reconnaissance mission over Tanhala mountains in Mahra."

He confirmed that the Saudi pilot and his assistant died as a result of the helicopter crash caused by unknown reasons.

Other sources of the local authority in Yemen's Mahra province excluded other reasons saying that that investigations indicated that a technical error caused the helicopter crash.

In recent months, heavy elite Saudi forces have been deployed to secure oil-rich areas in the province of Mahara that is controlled by the internationally-backed Yemeni government.

Other Yemeni army units backed by Saudi-led forces have presence in Yemen's eastern part to conduct anti-terrorism and anti-smuggling operations.

Last month, the country's President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi visited Mahara province and interviewed Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Yemen and inaugurated a number of economic projects in the city.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including capital Sanaa, in 2014.

Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Iran-backed Houthi rebels forced him into exile.


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