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Saudi-backed fighters capture coastal area in Yemen from Houthis

Reuters , Thursday 7 Dec 2017
Yemen
Smoke billows behind a building following a reported air strike by the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 6, 2017 (Photo: AFP)
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A Western-backed Saudi-led coalition scored its first major gains in Yemen since former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed on Monday when local fighters captured an area on the Red Sea coast from Houthi rebels, residents said on Thursday.

Saleh, who had made common cause with the Houthis after they captured the capital Sanaa in 2014, switched sides in an announcement last week that plunged the country deeper into turmoil.

Residents said southern Yemeni fighters and allied local forces captured al-Khoukha district located some 350 km (220 miles) south-west of Sanaa after heavy fighting over Wednesday night which also involved coalition forces.

Houthi forces control Sanaa and much of the rest of the impoverished country, where three years of war has killed more than 10,000 people and brought it to the verge of famine.

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