AFP –  Yemeni pro-government forces were battling on Sunday to oust Iran-backed rebels from a southern province where they have made gains in recent weeks.
Ground fighting and air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition killed 12 rebels in Daleh province, military sources said. Four loyalists were also killed.
Daleh is one of five southern provinces which the coalition-backed loyalists retook from the rebels in a July offensive.
But the Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies managed to recapture the province’s second-largest city, Damt, earlier this month.
Further north, in Yemen’s third city Taez, where a loyalist garrison has been under rebel siege for months, three civilians were killed and at least 20 wounded by rebel mortar fire late on Saturday, medical and military sources said.
Loyalist troops and their coalition backers launched an offensive to try to break the siege earlier this month but it has made little headway.
In the rebel-held capital Sanaa, coalition aircraft carried out what a military source described as the heaviest strikes in weeks.
The rebels overran Sanaa in September last year before capturing much of the rest of the country and forcing the government into exile.
President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi returned from neighboring Saudi Arabia on November 18, two days after the offensive to relieve the siege of Taez began.
The United Nations says more than 5,700 people have been killed in Yemen since the fighting began in March, nearly half of them civilians.

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