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Coalition strikes, fighting kill 24 Yemen rebels

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Aden: Saudi-led coalition air strikes and attacks by pro-government forces killed at least 24 rebels today in Yemen’s south, where the insurgents have been pushing to regain lost ground, military sources said.

Warplanes bombed two rebel troop transports north of Damt, the Daleh province’s second-largest city, which the Iran-backed Huthi rebels and their allies recaptured on Saturday, a military official said.

The strikes killed 13 rebels and wounded several more, said Ali Moqbel Saleh, the commander of a loyalist military camp in the region.

Elsewhere in the same region, 11 rebels died in ambushes on convoys by fighters loyal to exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, another military source said.

AFP could not independently confirm the tolls, and the rebels rarely acknowledge their losses.

After they recaptured second city Aden in July, loyalists, backed by coalition strikes, supplies and troops, pushed the rebels out of Daleh and four other southern provinces.

But the rebels this weekend recaptured several positions in the south, sparking deadly fighting.

Insecurity persists in the recaptured provinces, and loyalist forces Thursday discovered a large cache of explosives stored near the Aden airport.

“Seventeen barrels filled with TNT were found in a house” next to the airport and an adjacent military camp, loyalist General Adel al-Halimi told AFP.

The seizure of the cache took place following “suspect movements by armed men in the vicinity of the military camp,” Halimi added, saying coalition and loyalist forces were being targed for a “terrorist act”.

In March, Saudi Arabia formed a coalition in support of Hadi’s internationally recognised government.

Around 5,000 people have been killed in the conflict since March, more than half of them civilians, according to UN estimates.

A new round of UN-brokered Yemen talks to end the conflict is expected to kick off in Geneva this month.

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