Coalition says killed 160 Yemen rebels in battle for Marib
The rebels rarely comment on losses and the toll could not be independently verified
RIYADH (AFP) - The Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen s government said Saturday it had killed 160 Huthi rebels in strikes south of the strategic city of Marib, where loyalists say rebels have made advances.
"We carried out 32 strikes... in Abdiya over the past 24 hours," the coalition said, cited by the official Saudi Press Agency, adding that "11 military vehicles were destroyed and more than 160 terrorist elements eliminated".
The rebels rarely comment on losses and the toll could not be independently verified by AFP.
The coalition has said that since Monday, more than 700 Iran-backed rebels have been killed in air strikes in the battle for Marib.
Abdiya lies about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Marib, the internationally recognised government s last toehold in the north.
The rebels are now "at the centre of the Abdiya district after a four-week siege", a loyalist source told AFP.
The official said rebels had "kidnapped, imprisoned and abused" members of Yemeni tribes who supported the pro-government forces.
Almost 20 loyalist troops and tribesmen have been killed in the past 24 hours and 47 wounded, the official added.
Another military official gave the same tolls.
The Huthis began a major push to seize Marib in February and, after a lull, they have renewed their offensive in recent weeks.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in the province this year, nearly 10,000 of them in September alone, according to the UN migration agency.
The Yemeni civil war began in 2014 when the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa, 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of Marib, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.
Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced in what the United Nations calls the world s worst humanitarian crisis.