Clashes, Saudi-led air strikes kill 44 in Yemen


Clashes between rebels and pro-government forces in Yemen and Saudi-led air strikes killed 44 people, medics and local sources said Sunday, as Riyadh pledged to cover a UN humanitarian aid appeal.

The UN says hundreds of people have died and thousands of families fled their homes since the air war was launched on March 26 at the request of embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Ten Huthi rebels and four members of the “popular committees” militia fighting on the side of Hadi were killed in pre-dawn clashes in the south-western city of Taez, the sources said.

The city has become the scene of fierce clashes over the past week, after having been largely spared in fighting that has spread across several Yemeni provinces.

Airstrikes on Huthi rebel positions in the southern city of Daleh as well as clashes on Sunday killed 17 Huthis and six southern fighters.

Seven more Huthis were killed in an attack by tribesmen in the southern Shabwa province. The rebels who seized Sanaa unopposed in September, have since expanded their control over several provinces.

In Aden, southern fighters clashed on Saturday night with rebels and allied troops who have seized parts of the city, residents said, but no casualty toll was available.

Saudi King Salman ordered the aid pledge following a UN appeal on Friday for $274 million (253 million euros) in emergency assistance for the millions affected by Yemen’s multi-sided conflict.

The kingdom “stands with its Yemeni brothers” and hopes for “the restoration of security and stability”, the state Saudi Press Agency said.

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