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149 people killed in 24 hrs in clashes in Yemen's Hodeida: medics, military

149 people killed in 24 hrs in clashes in Yemen
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At least 149 people including civilians have been killed in 24 hours of clashes between government loyalists and rebels in Yemens flashpoint city of...

Hodeida​: At least 149 people including civilians have been killed in 24 hours of clashes between government loyalists and rebels in Yemen's flashpoint city of Hodeida, medics and military sources said Monday.

A military official in Hodeida confirmed seven civilians had died, without giving further details.

The Red Sea port city, controlled by Yemen's Houthi rebels since 2014, is a vital entry point for aid into the impoverished country.

A source in Yemen's pro-government military coalition, which is backed by a Saudi-led military alliance, said the Houthis had pushed back a large-scale offensive aimed at moving towards Hodeida port.

Medics in hospitals across the city reported 110 rebels and 32 loyalist fighters killed overnight.

Sources at the Al-Alfi military hospital, seized by the rebels during their 2014 takeover, said charred body parts had been delivered there overnight.

Military sources confirmed that the Saudi-led alliance had targeted the rebels with multiple air strikes.

Nearly 600 people have been killed since clashes erupted on November 1 in Hodeida, one of Yemen's most densely populated cities.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in the Yemeni government's fight against the Iran-backed Houthis in 2015, triggering what the UN now calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The Hodeida port is a vital lifeline for aid deliveries to Yemenis across the war-torn country, where 14 million people face imminent famine.

The port has been under blockade by the Saudi-led coalition for a year.

The alliance accuses Iran of smuggling arms to the Houthis through the Hodeida port.

Tehran denies the charges.

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