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Saudi-led strikes on Yemen kill dozens of Houthi fighters and civilians

Saudi-led air strikes have killed dozens of rebels and civilians in the past 24 hours in Yemen’s flashpoint province of Hodeidah, medical sources said on Thursday.

Saudi-led coalition warplanes carried out nine air raids overnight on positions of the Shiite Houthi rebels in the Red Sea province, AFP news agency reported local sources as saying. The Yemen Army’s media center said coalition jets had targeted a Houthi headquarters near the al-Hayes district of Hodeida early Thursday morning.

The strikes killed 36 rebels and 12 civilians, sources at four hospitals in the provincial capital said.

Reports on social media put the death toll higher, with as many as 30 civilians killed in an airstrike on a restaurant in the town of Zabaid.

Fighting between the Iran-backed rebels and the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi supported by the Saudi-led coalition has intensified in the past few weeks, causing a rise in civilian casualties.

Last week, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said coalition air strikes on December 26 killed 68 civilians in Hodeida and the neighbouring province of Taez.

The coalition accused McGoldrick of bias towards the rebels, but did not deny the civilian deaths.

The military alliance intervened in support of Hadi’s government in March 2015, after the Houthis took over the capital Sanaa and much of the rest of the country.

But despite the coalition’s superior firepower, the rebels still control the capital and much of the north.

More than 8,750 people have been killed since the coalition intervened, according to the World Health Organisation.

Norway suspends arms exports to UAE over Yemen war

With reporting from AFP.

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