At least 65 dead in battle for Marib, Yemen: Military

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Sixty-five members of the Iran-backed Houthi militia and pro-government forces have been killed in renewed fighting for the strategic Yemeni city of Marib, a military official told AFP on Thursday.

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The clashes erupted when the Houthis attacked pro-government positions south of the city, making progress despite losing dozens of fighters in coalition air strikes.

“Twenty-two pro-government [forces] were killed and 50 others were wounded, while 43 Houthi [militia] were also killed in the last 48 hours,” a government military official said, in figures that were confirmed by other military and medical sources.

The fighting comes after strikes on Yemen’s largest airbase, in the country’s south, killed at least 30 pro-government fighters on Sunday in the deadliest incident since December.

Yemen’s internationally-recognized government -- backed by an Arab military coalition -- and the Houthis have been locked in war since 2014, when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa.

In February, the Houthis escalated their efforts to seize Marib, the government’s last northern stronghold in fighting that has killed hundreds on both sides.

Control of the oil-rich region would strengthen the Houthis’ bargaining position in peace talks.

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