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Death count rising in Yemen's contested Bab al-Mandab strait Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Death count rising in Yemen's contested Bab al-Mandab strait

Yemen's ongoing conflict has claimed at least 10,000 lives [AFP]

Date of publication: 16 January, 2017

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On Sunday pro-Houthi media outlets reported that the Iran-affiliated group had carried out a successful special operation in Taiz province that had left 40 Saudi-affiliated troops dead or injured.

Pro-Houthi media outlets claimed on Sunday that an elite division of AnsarAllah forces had carried out a successful special operation targeting forces loyal to Saudi-backed, President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, in Taiz province. 

Around 40 Hadi-affiliated troops were killed and injured during the attack which is said to have caught troops stationed in the area by surprise, according to sources including the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar TV network, which favours the Houthis in Yemen's ongoing conflict.

Hundreds have been killed in the Bab al-Mandab area in recent weeks amid intense clashes between forces loyal to Hadi, who is backed by an international coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, and AnsarAllah, or Houthi troops who are backed by Iran and pledge allegiance to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Forces loyal to Hadi took control of the Bab al-Mandab strait in October 2015 and in recent weeks are reported to have made fresh advances in the area while sustaining casualties with Houthi forces pushed back.

However the Houthis control nearly all of Yemen's Red Sea coast to the north and last year targeted both US warships and a United Arab Emirates vessel contracted to the Saudi-led coalition supporting Hadi's forces in Yemen with rocket fire from the area.

At least 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen's ongoing civil conflict since the Saudi-led coalition began its military intervention in March 2015, the majority in coalition airstrikes. 

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