15 dead in fighting near Yemen Red Sea port


Seven Yemeni soldiers and eight rebels were killed in heavy fighting over the past 24 hours near the Red Sea coastal town of Al-Mokha, medical and security sources said Saturday.

The historic port was captured by government forces on Feb. 10 as part of a major offensive launched in January to try to recapture Yemen’s 450 km Red Sea coastline, which had previously been almost entirely in rebel hands.

But there have been repeated clashes over the past month both inland and north of the town as the rebels seek to take it back.

The latest fighting focused on the village of Yakhtul, 14 km north of Al-Mokha, which is currently in government hands.

It came as an airstrike on a rebel-held port further north killed 20 civilians and six rebels.

SABA reported Saturday that eight people were also wounded Friday in the bombing of Khokha market in the western province of Al-Hodeida. It added that jets continued to fly overhead, spreading fear among first responders and preventing them from rushing to rescue survivors.