Yemeni rebels rebound with new attacks after setbacks

AP News
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Posted: Aug 19, 2015 5:30 PM
Yemeni rebels rebound with new attacks after setbacks

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked pro-government forces for the second consecutive day Wednesday after weeks of retreating, security officials said.

Five pro-government fighters were killed in the rebel attack on the Labouza military base, said Qayed Nasser, an anti-rebel forces spokesman in Lahj province.

Anti-rebel fighters have failed to push the rebels and their allies out of the Aqaba Tharaa area, which they took control of a day earlier in a similar attack, said independent security officials and witnesses.

Fighting in Yemen pits the Shiite Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and troops loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Brig. Gen. Fadl Hassan said the pro-government forces were tricked in Aqaba Tharaa by a brigade from the Republican Guard who were loyal to Saleh but were pretending to be fighting alongside Hadi forces. Saudi-led airstrikes killed 20 of the brigade and Houthi fighters, Houthi security officials and medical officials said.

Shelling killed five civilians south of the city of Taiz, while suspected al-Qaida fighters killed a soldier and wounded others manning a checkpoint in Hadramawt province, security and tribal officials said.

All officials and witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to reporters or for fear of reprisals.

In a separate incident, an airstrike on a teacher's office in Amran, north of Sanaa, killed 13 teachers and four children Tuesday night, the executive director of the U.N. children's agency, Anthony Lake, said in a statement. He said 20 people were injured.

Also Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council condemned the storming and seizure of the United Arab Emirates Embassy in the capital, Sanaa, by the Houthis on Sunday "in the strongest terms." In a statement, the council demanded the Houthis withdraw immediately.

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Associated Press writers Edith M. Lederer and Cara Anna at the United Nations contributed to this report.