More than 50 die in clashes in Yemen’s besieged Taiz
Clashes intensified on Friday between Shiite rebels and local fighters in the besieged city of Taiz
Clashes intensified on Friday between Shiite rebels and local fighters in the besieged city of Taiz, killing at least 45 fighters on both sides and six civilians over the past 24 hours.
The city has seen heavy fighting between rebels known as Houthis and local resistance units financed and armed by the Saudi-led coalition that is backing Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
The local fighters have been advancing and have taken control of Taiz’s western outskirts.
The medical officials said Friday that most of the 45 killed over the past 24 hours died in airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition. They also said that six civilians were killed in random shelling of residential areas. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
According to witnesses, Islamic militants who are fighting next to the local resistance have kidnapped a number of Houthi supporters and members of the ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party in the city of Taiz after storming their houses and shops.
Al-Qaeda in Yemen has posted videos before for its operations in Taiz. The group, along with Salafis, has been fighting side-by-side with the local resistance fighters.
The Houthis have besieged Taiz, widely known as Yemen’s cultural center, for over a year now. Saudi-led coalition launched an extensive air campaign and send ground troops to roll back Houthis.