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No fewer than five people were killed on Wednesday and about 23 others left seriously wounded when Yemeni rebels fired a ballistic missile at the strategic northern city of Marib, a medical source have disclosed.
According to the medic, ‘two soldiers and three civilians were killed’ in the strike.
Africa Daily News, New York reports that Marib, in an oil-rich province of the same name, is the government’s last northern stronghold, and the Iran-backed Huthi rebels have been fighting to seize it for months.
A pro-government military source also said a ballistic missile shot by the Huthis landed in the city.
The attack comes a day after pro-government fighters from a United Arab Emirates-trained militia said they expelled the Huthis from Harib, a district south of Marib.
The clashes are part of a major escalation in the seven-year war after the Huthis, following a series of territorial defeats, launched a deadly drone-and-missile attack on the UAE last week.
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The Huthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military intervention — supported by arms sales from the US, France and Britain — the following year.
Hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict, which the United Nations has labelled the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Wednesday’s attack on Marib also came two days after the insurgents’ latest missile attack on the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, and more than a week after three people were killed in the first deadly attack on UAE soil claimed by Huthis and acknowledged by the Emiratis.
The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition that has been battling the rebels, in support of Yemen’s internationally recognised government.
Saudi Arabia accuses regional rival Iran of providing military support to Yemen’s Huthi rebels, especially missiles and rockets, claims that Tehran denies.
Also Wednesday, rights group Amnesty International said the Saudi-led coalition ‘used a precision-guided munition made in the United States’ in a strike that hit a Yemeni prison last week.
The attack in rebel-held Saada left at least 70 people dead and wounded more than 100, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Friday.
The coalition denied being behind the attack.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK