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Saudi soldier killed near Yemen border

27th Jul 2017
Saudi soldier killed near Yemen border

By Zakaria al-Kamali

 

SANA’A (AA): Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday the death of one of its soldiers in clashes with Houthi [Ansar Allah] rebels near its southern border with Yemen.

“The dead soldier belonged to ground forces as he was killed at the southern border of Jazan, which has seen battles with Houthis for more than two years,” the Saudi official news agency (SPA) reported.

Prince Mohammed bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, deputy governor of Jazan, conveyed the condolences of the Saudi leadership to the family of the slain soldier, it added.

The news agency did not mention the date and circumstances of the soldier’s death.

Wednesday’s announcement brings the death toll of the Saudi army at the Yemeni borders to 39 since May 10, according to Anadolu Agency’s count, based on Saudi official sources.

The border areas between Yemen and the Saudi Kingdom have recently seen an escalation of clashes.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled government.

On July 18, 20 civilians were killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition while attempting to escape fighting in Yemen, according to the UN.

Survivours said a vehicle packed with families fleeing battles between government forces and Houthi rebels near the city of Taiz was hit.

Officials said many of those killed were from the same family, including women and children.The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said it was “shocked and saddened” by the deaths in the Mawzaa district, where civilians had been displaced by intensified hostilities in the nearby port of Mocha.

“Nowhere in Yemen is  safe for civilians,” said UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo.

According international human rights groups, the Saudi-led coalition have been bombing civilian gatherings, markets, hospitals, and residential areas across Yemen since the beginning of its campaign in 2015.

Saudi Arabia has denied accusations that they have been targeting civilians. “here is no intention whatsoever to bombard or kill civilians,” said a spokesman.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled government.

According to UN officials, more than 10,000 mainly civilians have been killed in the war, while more than 11 percent of the country’s population has been displaced as a direct result of the conflict. Majority of the civilians have been killed by Saudi-led coalition.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Archive Photo: saudi-led bombing hit residential area in Marib area in Sana’a, Yemen on 19 September 2015. Photographer: Mohammed Hamoud/AA]

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