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Scores of Houthi rebels killed in Yemen fighting

TAIZ, YEMEN - NOVEMBER 17: Popular Resistance forces, supporting forces loyal to Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi patrol around the Ecahmiliye neighborhood in northern Taiz, after seizing the neighborhood from Houthis on November 15, 2016. ( Abdulnasser Alseddik - Anadolu Agency )

At least 50 Houthi rebels were killed in clashes and Saudi-led airstrikes in north-western Yemen on Saturday, according to the Yemeni army.

In a statement, the army said 22 rebels were killed in artillery shelling and clashes with government forces in Midi district in the northwestern Hajja province.

According to the statement, 12 rebels were also killed and 14 others injured when coalition forces struck a site where Houthi leaders and their allies were meeting in the same province.

A coalition airstrike targeted a farmland in Harad district in Hajjah, killing 16 rebels, the statement said.

The Yemeni army said the farmland was being used by Houthi rebels as a training site for their forces.

There has been no comment from the Shia Houthi group regarding the claims.

Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by chaos since late 2014, when Houthi rebels overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.

The conflict escalated last year when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a major air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled Saudi-backed government.

Thousands of people are believed to have been killed in the conflict to date – more than half of them civilians – while another three million have been forced to flee their homes.

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