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Airstrike in Yemen kills dozens of Houthi rebels including commanders

An air strike on Yemen’s capital by a Saudi-led military coalition has killed dozens of Houthi rebels including at least two commanders, Saudi television reported.

Saudi Arabia’s official Al-Ekhbariya television said on Saturday, April 28 that two high-ranking insurgents were among more than 50 Houthi rebels killed in Sana’a on Friday evening, without giving further details.

Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television said a total of 38 rebels were killed in the strike on a Houthi interior ministry building.

The Houthis confirmed an air strike on Sanaa but gave no details.

The raid came hours ahead of a public funeral of the Houthis’ political head Saleh al-Sammad, killed last week in a Saudi-led coalition strike.

It also came as newly-appointed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to land in Riyadh for meetings including talks on the Yemen conflict.

The Iran-backed rebels have been locked in a war with the Saudi-led military alliance, which since 2015 has fought to restore the internationally-recognised Yemeni government to power.

Riyadh intervened in the conflict in 2015 at the behest of Yemen’s internationally-recognized government, but the conflict is widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Houthis control Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, as well as much of the country’s north – which borders Saudi Arabia – and the key Hodeida port on Yemen’s Red Sea coast.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led alliance joined the Yemen conflict, triggering what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

MoreAirstrikes on Yemen wedding party kill and injure dozens

Yemen now stands at the brink of famine.

The Saudi-led coalition imposed a total blockade on Yemen’s ports in November in retaliation for cross-border Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.

The blockade has since been partially lifted, but access to the impoverished country remains limited.

Hodeidah: The strategic port at the center of Yemen’s war

With reporting from AFP

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