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Scores dead as Yemen enters last week of talks

Yemen has been gripped by a devastating conflict [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 July, 2016

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Clashes between Houthi rebels and government forces left more than 80 dead over the last week, as delegations edge closer towards deadline day for peace talks.
At least 80 pro-government and Houthi rebels were killed in continued fighting along Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia since last week, military sources said on Monday.

Clashes between warring parties sparked on Thursday when government forces launched an offensive to recapture Haradh and Midi in the Hajja province on the border.

"At least 48 rebels and forces loyal to (former president) Ali Abdullah Saleh were killed" in the fighting, said one of the sources.

Thirty-four army soldiers were also killed, a pro-government source confirmed.

Landmines planted by Houthi rebels killed most of the soldiers, he noted, adding that dozens were wounded on both sides.

Loyalist forces pushed towards Haradh’s town centre after securing the border post at the town’s entrance shortly after the offence was launched.

However Hadi's troops, who are supported by a Saudi-led Arab coalition that has been battling the rebels since March 2015, have so far failed to enter the capital from the east.

Meanwhile in Sanaa, three explosions were triggered following a coalition airstrike on a military compound where ammunition and weaponry is stored, residents told The New Arab on Monday.

Further south in Aden, at least one person was killed and another wounded on Sunday when a bomb exploded near a security checkpoint.

Yemen has been gripped by a devastating conflict that escalated in March 2015 when Saudi-led air raids began against the Houthi rebels after the insurgents seized northern and central parts of the country including the capital, Sanaa.

Last week, Yemen's warring parties began their last two weeks of negotiations with the UN's Yemen envoy warning it's the country's last chance for peace after two months of stagnant talks.

Ismail Ould Cheikh urged Houthi and government officials to make "decisions that will prove your true intentions," noting the talks would only last for a further two weeks and may be Yemen's "last chance to resolve the conflict."

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