At least 27 people were killed in Yemen today as fighting raged in southern towns between rebels and loyalists of exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, local officials said.
At least four pro-Hadi fighters and six Huthi Shiite rebels were killed in dawn clashes in the town of Daleh, north of the main southern city of Aden, an official said.
Eight more rebels were killed in an ambush.
Farther east, in Loder, loyalist militiamen killed nine rebels in a rocket-propelled grenade attack, a government official in the town said.
There were also heavy clashes in Aden itself, as Saudi-led warplanes kept up strikes on rebel positions despite the coalition’s announcement on Tuesday that it was halting the bombing campaign.
Targets included the rebel-held presidential palace, which was Hadi’s last refuge before he fled to neighbouring Saudi Arabia last month, military officials said.
Coalition warplanes also bombed the rebel-held Al-Anad air base north of Aden, which housed US troops supporting a long-running drone war against Al-Qaeda before the fighting forced their withdrawal.
There was also fighting late on Friday in the eastern province of Marib, home to some of Yemen’s most important oil fields, army officers and witnesses said.
Loyalist troops at a base in the provincial capital shelled rebel positions in the nearby Sarwah district, where clashes raged around Yemen’s main oil export pipeline.
The 435-kilometre line links Marib’s Safir oil fields with the Ras Isa terminal on Yemen’s Red Sea coast and control of it has been a key goal for the rebels and their allies.
"The Huthi rebels and forces loyal to (former president Ali Abdullah) Saleh sent reinforcements from (the rebel-controlled capital) Sanaa," an army officer said.
The persistent fighting comes despite mounting calls for dialogue to end a conflict that the United Nations says has killed more than 1,000 people since late March, at least 115 of them children.