Saa, June 4: Fighting between the Shiite Houthi group and forces loyal to Yemen’s government left about 30 people killed and scores others injured in the southwestern province of Taiz on Saturday. The intense fighting that continued for two consecutive days for the purpose of capturing the Houthi-controlled presidential compound in Taiz, Xinhua quoted a local military official as saying on condition of anonymity.
The armed forces loyal to Yemen’s intertiolly recognized President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi made ground advances and kicked the Houthi rebels out of the presidential compound, the source said. He added that the Shiite Houthi gunmen also lost control of a key military base near the compound. According to local medics in different hospitals in Taiz and neighbouring provinces, the fighting left about 20 Houthi gunmen and 10 government soldiers killed.
Media outlets close to Hadi’s government said that “over the past few days, the army has maged to clear several strategic sites and locations that were under the Shiite Houthis’ control, mely the Central Bank and Faculty of Medicine buildings in Taiz.” A spokesman of Hadi’s forces in Taiz said that the battles are pressing ahead according to the plans set to liberate Taiz with all its installations and all the Yemeni territories.
Taiz has, for long, been under total blockade and witnessed indiscrimite shellings by the Shiite Houthis who control most parts of Taiz province. The Coalition for Humanitarian Relief (CHR) in its new report said that as many as 131 persons were killed and 320 others were injured, including women and children, in Taiz in May, as a result of the Saleh-Houthi militia’s military escalation in the province.
Yemen has been suffering from a civil war and a Saudi-led military intervention for around two years. The civil war began after the Houthi militants with support from forces loyal to the former president ousted the UN-backed transitiol government and occupied capital Saa militarily in September 2014. The legitimate government controls the south and some eastern parts, while the Houthi-Saleh alliance controls the other parts including the capital Saa.
The UN has sponsored peace talks between the warring factions several times, but the factions failed to reach common ground. The civil war, ground battles and airstrikes have already killed more than 10,000 people, half of them civilians, injured more than 35,000 others and displaced over two millions, according to humanitarian agencies. (IANS)