Street battles kill at least 15 civilians in Yemen's Taiz

GMT 22:06 2015 Sunday ,26 April

Arab Today, arab today Street battles kill at least 15 civilians in Yemen's Taiz

Street battles

At least 15 civilians were killed and more than 25 others wounded when gunfire and tank shells hit several houses in Yemen's third largest city of Taiz on Sunday morning, a government official told Xinhua.

"Intense clashes erupted between Houthi gunmen and tribal militia loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi inside crowded neighborhoods of Taiz and a lot of houses were damaged by shells," the local official in Taiz said on condition of anonymity.

"The two warring rivals exchanged heavy gunfire, artillery and tank shells inside the public markets and nearby houses," the government source said, adding that "initial reports show that about 15 civilians were killed and 25 others wounded."

A medical official at Hakima medical center confirmed to Xinhua that they "received about 15 dead bodies of civilians and more than 25 wounded people. The casualties may rise as ambulances were targeted and could not move to help the rest of wounded people who are stranded in their houses."

A source close to pro-Houthi forces said that "Hadi's militia waged attacks on the security units and targeted three security checkpoints in central Taiz city. Soldiers were forced to respond and protect the state institutions."

He said that dozens of people were killed and scores of others wounded from both sides in the ongoing fighting that started on Saturday night and continued till Sunday afternoon.

In country's capital of Sanaa, security sources said that the Saudi-led coalition forces resumed to bomb arms caches and some targets that were previously destroyed by carrying out more than 22 rounds of airstrike within the last 12 hours.

Meanwhile, thousands of pro-Houthi forces with armored tanks were mobilized Sunday and moved to battlefields against Hadi's troops in the oil-rich province of Marib, according to local Yemeni officials.

The Marib province has seen fierce fighting for the past two weeks between pro-Hadi forces and Houthi fighters, where most of Yemen's oil and economic companies are located, leaving dozens of people killed and injured.

In Yemen's southern port city of Aden, Saudi-led airstrikes bombed Aden international airport seized by Houthi gunmen, as fierce battles continued in the city.

Local residents said that a number of deserted buildings near the airport were damaged.

In neighboring Lahj province, warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition forces airdropped loads of weapons and equipment for pro-Hadi militia to help them fight against the Houthis.

Yemen's southern provinces have witnessed a drastic escalation of violence since late March when deadly armed clashes erupted between Houthi gunmen and tribal militia loyal to Hadi who fled to Saudi Arabia for refuge in March.

The deadly fighting still flares in port city of Aden and about five other southern provinces amid sharp shortages of basic needs such as foods, drinking water, medicine and fuel supplies.

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