Heavy fire from Yemen rebels kills Saudi officer, soldier

AP News
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Posted: Sep 26, 2015 1:58 PM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Heavy cross-border fire into Saudi Arabia from Yemen's Shiite rebels killed a senior Saudi border guard commander and a soldier, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said Saturday.

Colonel Hassan Ghashoum Aqyli, commander of the Harth border sector in Jizan province, was killed along with another soldier by heavy fire coming from inside Yemen, SPA said, citing Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki. Four other soldiers were wounded, it said.

Cross-border fire and shelling have been common since a Saudi-led coalition began a campaign of airstrikes in March against Yemen's Shiite rebels, known as Houthis. Saudi, Emirati and allied Yemeni ground troops are currently trying to retake Yemen's capital, Sanaa, which was seized by the rebels a year ago.

Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa killed at least 15 Houthi fighters and allied loyalists of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Friday, according to medical officials.

In Marib province, a major battleground east of Sanaa, anti-Houthi officials said more than 15 Houthis were killed in Saudi-led airstrikes on Saturday. Houthis in Marib said they repelled an attack, killing five anti-rebel fighters.

In the Red Sea port of Mocha, airstrikes killed six Houthis, according to local medical officials. Six tribesmen fighting against the Houthis were killed in clashes in the central Bayda province, according to security officials who are neutral in the conflict.

Yemen has been embroiled in fighting that pits the Houthis and Saleh loyalists against the Saudi-backed and internationally recognized government as well as southern separatists, local militias and Sunni extremists. The fighting has killed at least 2,100 civilians, according to U.N. figures.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.