32 killed in Yemen western port clashes

The clashes killed 24 Houthis militias and Eight soldiers loyalists backed by the Arab coalition

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Thirty-two combatants were killed on Wednesday in the battle for a key coastal town in western Yemen between government forces and Houthi militias, officials said.

The deaths occurred as forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Masnour Hadi advanced into neighborhoods of Mokha and Houthis retreated to northern and western parts of the town, military sources said.

Loyalists backed by the Arab coalition entered the strategic port town in late January as part of their efforts to drive the militias away from the Red Sea coast.

The clashes on Wednesday killed 24 Houthis, including 12 whose bodies were taken a hospital in Mokha, medical officials said.

The other 12 were militias whose remains were found by advancing troops and later buried in Mokha, a loyalist military official said.

Eight soldiers were killed, military and medical officials said.

Mokha was Yemen’s main port serving as its export hub for coffee until it was overtaken by Aden and Hodeida in the 19th century.

Forces supporting Hadi, backed by the coalition, began a major offensive on January 7 to recapture the coastline overlooking the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait.

More than 400 combatants have been killed since government forces launched their drive up the Red Sea coastline.