Saudi general dies of wounds in Yemen conflict

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 27, 2015 5:56 AM

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Saudi brigadier general has died in hospital of wounds incurred on the border with Yemen, the armed forces said.

Ibrahim Omar Ibrahim Hamzi, deputy commander of the 8th brigade in Saudi Arabia's southern Jizan province, was injured "defending the nation and its citizens," the statement said, without providing any details.

His death follows the killing of two border officers along the frontier on Saturday, as clashes with Iran-allied Houthis in Yemen escalated.

An Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been pounding the Houthis from the air for six months, trying to eject the group from the capital Sanaa and restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

About 100 Saudi military personnel, including another general, have been killed along the border with Yemen since the Saudi-led campaign began in March, according to a Reuters count.

More than 4,500 Yemeni have also died since March, according to U.N. figures.

Coalition air strikes pounded suspected Houthi targets in the capital around 25 times, residents said, and hit several other central provinces.

Gulf troops and allied Yemeni tribesmen continued heavy ground battles with the militiamen and their allies in Yemen's army in the desert province of Marib 120 km (75 miles) east of Sanaa on Sunday.

The two sides exchanged artillery fire in a coalition push for the strategic foothills leading to Sanaa on Saturday, backed by Arab air strikes.

At least 20 bodies from both sides were seen on the battlefield, a local official told Reuters.

Hadi had arrived in the southern port city of Aden, a week after the government's formal return to Yemeni soil from Saudi Arabia.

But he left the country again on Sunday, local officials said, en route to the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. It remains unclear whether he will return again to Yemen or go back to Saudi Arabia.

(Reporting by Noah Browning, Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf; Editing by Sami Aboudi and William Hardy)