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The New Arab

Saudi pilots killed in Yemen helicopter crash

More than 10,000 people have been killed by fighting in Yemen [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 September, 2018

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The pilots were killed in al-Mahra when their helicopter crashed on Friday.

Two Saudi pilots were killed when their helicopter crashed in the eastern Yemeni province of al-Mahra on Friday, the Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthis in Yemen said.

According to a statement by the coalition carried by the Saudi Press Agency, the helicopter, which belongs to the Saudi ground forces, had crashed due to technical issues.

The helecopter crashed “when it was carrying out its tasks of fighting terrorism and smuggling in al-Mahra in Yemen,” the statement said, quoting the coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki.

The province of al-Mahra, which borders neighbouring country Oman, has at large has been unaffected by the war.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen's conflict since 2015, when the Saudi-led alliance intervened in support of the internationally-recognised government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Meanwhile, the UN food agency warned on Friday that shelling and airstrikes in Yemen's eastern Hodeida province have targeted humanitarian workers and infrastructure, threatening its ability to feed 3.5 million "very hungry people”. 

The World Food Programme (WFP) said it was "extremely concerned about the series of security incidents in Hodeida city these past few days in and around de-conflicted sites critical for the humanitarian response in Yemen", describing the situation as "alarming".

The UN agency warned that "the conflict (is) threatening the continuity of humanitarian assistance to the city and surrounding areas where needs are among the highest in the country."

Fighting has raged in recent days close to the rebel-held port city, a crucial entry point for aid that the Saudi-led coalition alleges also serves as a key conduit for arms to the Iran-backed Houthis.

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