11 Yemen soldiers killed in clashes and rebel attack

Eleven Yemeni government troops, including a senior officer, were killed in a rebel missile attack and clashes to the northeast and east of the capital Sanaa, military and medical sources said Monday.

General Mohammed Ali-Roqn, commander of the army’s 122 Brigade, along with eight other soldiers were killed in battle in Al-Jawf province on Sunday while trying to reclaim positions lost months ago, the sources said.

The rebels also suffered casualties, a military official added without elaborating.

Houthi rebels took control of the capital of northern al-Jawf province earlier this year – a strategic advance that means they now threaten oil-producing Marib province.

Yemen’s vice president, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, in a statement carried by the official Saba news agency, said al-Roqn was killed “while conducting military operations” in al-Jawf.

Two government troops were killed and four others wounded in a Houthi missile attack on a military base in Marib, east of Sanaa, a government official said.

Air strikes kill civilians in Yemen’s al-Jawf province (2:14)
Al-Qaeda fighters

Renewed clashes also broke out in al-Baida – which is under nominal government control – between loyalist forces and the Houthis, who have launched offensives against al-Qaeda fighters in the province.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – considered the armed group’s most dangerous branch – has carried out operations against both the Houthis and government forces.

AQAP on Saturday executed a dentist in al-Baida accused of spying for the government and guiding US drone strikes targeting the group.

The government and rebels have been locked in a five-year war that has killed tens of thousands of people, triggering what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Fighting has carried on despite repeated calls for a ceasefire as part of global efforts to combat the coronavirus, which health agencies fear could become a disastrous outbreak in impoverished Yemen.

More than 1,800 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Yemen, including 530 deaths.


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