ADEN--A total of 16 Shiite Houthi militants were killed in government artillery shelling near Yemen's southern province of Lahj on Thursday, a military source said.

The army artillery unit launched 11 missile strikes on Houthi-controlled sites in areas between the provinces of Lahj and Taiz, destroying armored vehicles belonging to the rebels, the military official said.

"According to intelligence information, the artillery bombardment on Houthi tactic sites killed 16 rebels, including a number of leaders," the source noted.

Meanwhile, the pro-government forces, backed by warplanes of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, continued their advance on Houthi-controlled areas in Taiz.

Army commanders of the 4th Regional Military Command inspected the pro-government forces stationed near Taiz, vowing to drive out Houthis from the entire province in the next few days.

The Saudi-led warplanes also launched a series of airstrikes on Houthi-held areas in different provinces of Yemen, causing casualties among the rebels.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a mostly Arab military coalition to fight Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015.

The Houthis have been controlling much of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, since 2014.

The conflict has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, and displaced more than 3 million others, according to humanitarian agencies.


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