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In Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition said on Sunday it had shot down 264 Houthi rebels around the town of Marib. This latest government stronghold in northern Yemen has been the scene of bloody clashes between Houthi rebels and loyalist forces since February.

The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen claimed on Sunday (October 24) that it had killed 264 Houthi rebels in new raids over the past three days around the strategic city of Marib, the target of heavy bombing for two weeks.

“Thirty-six military vehicles have been destroyed and more than 264 terrorists eliminated” in the past 72 hours in Al-Jawba (fifty kilometers south of Marib) and Al-Kassara (thirty kilometers northwest of Marib), said the coalition, cited by the official Saudi agency SPA, in reference to the Houthi rebels.

>> To read on France24.com: Yemen: why the Houthis want to seize the city of Marib at all costs

The last government stronghold in northern Yemen, Marib has been at the heart of a bloody battle since February that has intensified in recent days with the rebel advances.

Most of the raids announced almost daily by the coalition last week were carried out in Al-Abdiya, one hundred kilometers south of Marib and killed more than a thousand Houthis in this area, assures the coalition.

“The growing risk of large-scale famine”

Rebels, close to Iran, have clashed with government forces for seven years and captured most of the north of the country, including the capital Sana’a in 2014. The following year, the Saudi-led coalition intervened to support the struggling loyalist forces.

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council called for “de-escalation” in Yemen to address “the growing risk of large-scale famine” in that country.

The war in Yemen has plunged the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN. Tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, have been killed and millions displaced since the conflict began.

Marib, the last loyalist stronghold in the North. © France 24

With AFP

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