Agence France Presse
ADEN, Yemen: Twenty rebels and government troops were killed overnight in clashes as warring parties pushed north along Yemen’s western coast, medical and government sources said Monday. The renewed clashes in the coastal towns of Midi and Mokha, north and south of the major Red Sea port of Hudaida respectively, erupted the day after government forces seized control of the area.
“The death toll this morning stands at 14 Houthi rebels and six troops” loyal to President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi, a military source said on condition of anonymity.
Hospital sources in Hudaida confirmed at least eight dead.
Forces loyal to Yemen’s president, backed by an Arab coalition, entered the historic port town of Mokha last month as part of a push to drive Shiite Houthis out of the area.
Government forces had taken the docks of Mokha earlier in February and are now aiming to take the main port of Hudaida, which is still under the control of Houthi rebels.
Prior to the government-backed military offensive, the Houthis had controlled nearly all of Yemen’s 450 kilometer Red Sea coastline.
More than 400 combatants have been killed in the fight for coastal control.