SANA’A, Oct 21 (NNN-Xinhua) — At least seven fighters from the Shiite Houthi rebels and five from the government troops were killed in fierce clashes in Yemen’s northeastern province of Jawf on Thursday, a military source said.

The clashes, which began early Thursday morning and lasted until night, took place in Hazmat Alhalah area west of Masloub district.

Masloub is one of Houthi strongholds in the province, while Hazmat Alhalah was recaptured by the Yemeni government troops last month.

The clashes erupted when Houthi rebels tried to advance to regain Hazmat Alhalah area on the western edge of Masloub district.

The government troops, backed by warplanes from a Saudi-led military coalition, repelled the rebel attack and injured dozens from the rebels, the source said on condition of anonymity. He said 10 government soldiers were also wounded in the clashes.

Jawf, about 170 km northeast of the capital Sanaa, has been the scene of almost daily fighting between the Yemeni rival forces, in which the government troops have been trying to recapture the whole province before their advance toward the capital Sanaa, which has been under control of Houthi rebels since 2014.

In September 2014, Houthi fighters backed by forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh stormed the capital Sanaa and seized control over most of the country’s northern provinces.

The rebels tightened their grip over all state ministries and military camps and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government into exile in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict to roll back rebel gains and reinstate the internationally recognized government of President Hadi into the capital.

More than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the two-and-half years of war with over 3 million others displaced, according to UN agencies.

The country has also been hit by a deadly cholera epidemic and is on the brink of mass famine.



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