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Houthis claim responsibility for fall of coalition plane

A Saudi coalition helicopter has been downed and caught fire in Safir, Ma’rib province in central Yemen, according to a military source affiliated to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi

The helicopter caught fire after its fan broke and it made an emergency landing, resulting in casualties among its crew, whose number and ranks were not revealed.

As of Sunday, the coalition’s command did not announce the fall of the helicopter in an official statement. Clashes have intensified between the Saudi-led coalition, on the one hand, and Houthi militias, supported by forces affiliated with ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh, on the other, after Houthis targeted the area, killing a number of the coalition’s soldiers, mostly from the United Arab Emirates.

Yemen’s Saba News Agency, which is controlled by the Houthis, quoted an anonymous military source as saying that the Houthis fired a missile at the Apache helicopter and downed it.

On 21 April, the Arab coalition announced the halt of “Operation Decisive Storm” that it launched on 26 March and the start of “Operation Restoring Hope”, which aims to restore the political process in Yemen and confront the Houthis’ military operations and moves, the coalition said.

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