Fierce fighting in northern Yemen kills at least 75

SANAA: Fierce fighting and airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition pounded northern Yemen, as the two main parties in the country’s conflict continued to violate a ceasefire agreement and undermine already tenuous peace talks in Switzerland.The clashes in Hajjah Province near the Saudi border between rebel-allied units and pro-government Yemeni forces have killed more than 75 over the past three days, Yemeni security officials and witnesses said.

The dead included more than 40 rebels and 35 government troops, with 50 wounded on the rebel side and dozens wounded on the government side. Dozens of tanks and armoured vehicles were destroyed, according to the witnesses and security officials, who remain neutral in the conflict that has splintered the Arab world’s poorest country.The government troops advanced across the border from Saudi territory after training there for months, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief reporters.Yemen’s fighting pits the internationally recognized government backed by a Saudi-led, US-supported coalition against the rebels, known as Houthis, who are allied with a former president and backed by Iran. Local affiliates of al Qaida and the Islamic State group have exploited the chaos to grab land and exercise influence.

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