Huthi rebels kill 10 Yemen soldiers: military sources

Map of Yemen locating the province of Marib

Iran-backed Huthi rebels on Sunday killed 10 Yemen army soldiers from a southern separatist faction in a "surprise attack" after more than a year of relative calm, military sources said.

Twelve others were wounded "in the surprise attack" carried out by the Huthis in the border area between the southern provinces of Lahj and Al-Bayda, the sources told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Children gather to fill their containers amidst a shortage of water and soaring temperatures at a makeshift camp for people who fled fighting between Huthi rebels and the Saudi-backed government forces, in the village of Hays in Yemen's western province of Hodeida, on 22 August, 2023.

Four Huthi fighters were also killed and several were wounded, the sources said. There was no immediate comment from the rebels.

The attack targeted a site manned by the separatists, who aspire to create an independent South Yemen such as the state that existed until 1990, the military sources said.

A flare-up of violence has rocked south Yemen in recent months, with several fighters loyal to Yemen's secessionist Southern Transitional Council and soldiers killed in attacks attributed to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

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Yemen has been gripped by conflict since the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, triggering a Saudi-led military intervention in support of the beleaguered government the following year.

Fighting in Yemen calmed markedly after a UN-brokered ceasefire came into effect in April 2022, and has remained largely on hold even after the agreement lapsed last October.

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A China-brokered agreement earlier this year that has seen regional power brokers Iran and Saudi Arabia mend ties after a seven-year rupture also sparked hope for Yemen, but peace talks between the warring parties have stalled.

The southern separatist forces are backed by the United Arab Emirates, a key partner in the Saudi-led coalition, and allied with the Yemen government in its fight against the Huthis.

According to the United Nations, the conflict in Yemen has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions, and two thirds of the population need humanitarian aid.