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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

More than 20 Houthis killed in Yemen's Al Bayda

The commander of the Houthi militia in Al Bayda, known as Abu Hashim, was one of the men killed on Friday

A Yemeni fighter, loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, holds a Yemeni flag at a position during an offensive against Houthi rebels positions in the Nihem region, east of Sanaa, Yemen, December 24, 2017. Soliman Alnowab / EPA
A Yemeni fighter, loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, holds a Yemeni flag at a position during an offensive against Houthi rebels positions in the Nihem region, east of Sanaa, Yemen, December 24, 2017. Soliman Alnowab / EPA

More than 20 Houthi rebels, including a top commander, were killed in clashes with the Yemeni army in the Al Bayda province, bordering the Sanaa governorate.

The commander of the Houthi militia in Al Bayda, known as Abu Hashim, was one of the men killed on Friday, according to Al Bayda-based journalist Mahmood Al Humaidi.

Mr Al Humaidi said that the Yemeni army took control of Naman and Al Malahem districts in Al Bayda province, adding that the forces loyal to Yemen’s president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi headed further into the province to Natea.

“There were fierce clashes in the last pocket containing the rebels in Natea district, and the army was able to advance and gain ground,” said Mr Al Humaidi. “At least 20 rebels were killed and dozens were injured.”

Read more: More than 80 Houthi officers killed in renewed offensive

Meanwhile, a source said that 50 Houthi militiamen were captured in Natea, reported Yemen's news agency Saba.

“After storming the last pocket in Natea, the army advanced to Walad Rabie district, where nine rebels were killed in clashes,” Ramzi Mokhtar, editor of the military-run news website 26 September, told The National.

Fierce clashes also took place in the Thamar province, about 130 kilometres south of Sanaa. The Houthi rebels clashed with local tribes in the Al Hada area.

Yemeni army fighters and the tribes, who back the internationally-recognised government of Mr Hadi, have mobilised to lead an “intifada” against the rebels in the province — considered the Houthis stronghold.

Meanwhile, in Taez province, at least four Houthis were killed as the Yemeni army advanced into Makbana district, said Tariq Al Mulaiki, a Taez-based journalist.