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Over 130 Yemen rebels killed in battle for Marib: coalition

Over 130 Yemen rebels killed in battle for Marib: coalition

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The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Tuesday it has killed over 130 Huthi rebels in the past 24 hours in strikes in and near the northern pro-government bastion of Marib.

The Saudi-led coalition has been reporting high death tolls in almost daily strikes since October aimed at repelling a rebel offensive on the city of Marib, the government's last stronghold in the north.

The Iran-backed Huthis rarely comment on the tolls, which have exceeded 3,700 in the past weeks, and AFP cannot independently verify the coalition's figures.

"Sixteen military vehicles were destroyed and more than 130 terrorist elements eliminated" in the latest raids, the coalition said in a statement carried by the Saudi state news agency SPA.

It said the operations were carried out in Marib and Al-Bayda provinces.

The Huthis began a major push to seize Marib city in February, and renewed their offensive in September.

There was also reported fighting on a separate front, along Yemen's Red Sea coast after Huthi forces pushed south in recent days.

The coalition said Tuesday they targeted four Huthi positions along the western coast.

A Huthi advance near Yemen's lifeline port of the western province of Hodeida and a Saudi pullback have displaced more than 6,000 people, according to the United Nations.

On Monday, the coalition said in a statement that the "redeployment and repositioning" of its troops and government forces last week was designed "to support the Yemeni government in its national battle on all fronts".

Yemen's civil war began in 2014 when the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.

Tens of thousands of people have died and millions displaced in what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.