Yemen forces attack suspected killers of Red Cross worker
Five government soldiers killed in clashes with extremists fighters in Taez city
Five Yemeni pro-government soldiers were killed and 19 wounded in Taez city on Monday during clashes with extremist militants suspected of killing a Red Cross worker.
The fighting in the city's Jahmaliah district came after the governor of Taez ordered a raid on extremists he suspected were behind the murder of Red Cross employee Hanna Lahoud on Saturday.
Jahmaliah is controlled by pro-government forces but there is an extremist presence in the area, a police officer said.
Fierce clashes broke out after the operation was launched on Monday morning, according to the officer.
The casualty figures on the government side were provided by medics, but there was no information on deaths and injuries among the militants.
Taez governor Amin Ahmad Mahmud created a special force of police and army units to fight the suspected killers of Lahoud, a Lebanese national was shot in his vehicle while travelling to a prison in the city. His colleagues in the car were unharmed.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said Lahoud oversaw its programme on detention in Yemen.
Lahoud's murder drew widespread condemnation, including from fellow aid workers, residents of Taez and Yemen's minister for human rights, Mohamed Askar.
A large portion of Taez, Yemen's third city, is held by pro-government fighters, but the entrances to the city are controlled by Houthi rebels. The coalition and pro-government forces are waging a campaign along the south-western province's Red Sea coast aimed at breaking the siege.
In March, Yemen entered its fourth year of war between the Iran-backed rebels and pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.
Nearly 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has triggered what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Extremist militants, including from al Qaeda and ISIS, have taken advantage of the chaos to expand their influence in parts of Yemen, particularly in the south.
Updated: April 23, 2018 04:56 PM