November 13, 2019 / 1:10 PM / 24 days ago

At least five Yemeni soldiers killed by Houthi missile in Marib military base

ADEN (Reuters) - Houthi militants fired a missile at the Saudi-led military coalition’s heaquarters in the city of Marib on Wednesday during a visit by the Yemeni defence minister, killing at least five soldiers, local officials said.

The base is the main military facility overseeing a ground offensive aimed at recapturing the capital Sanaa, controlled by the Iran-aligned Houthis since 2014, which lies 120 km (75 miles) to the west of Marib.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Saudi-led coalition, which has been has been battling the Houthis in Yemen for more than four years.

But Saudi-owned news channel Al-Arabiya said seven soldiers were killed in the attack. Local officials said five Yemeni soldiers were killed.

Mohammed al-Maqdishi, the defence minister of Yemen’s internationally recognised government, and Saudi military officers were in the compound at the time, the officials said.

The coalition spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to restore the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which the Houthis ousted from power in the capital Sanaa and is now based in the southern port city of Aden. It has carried out thousands of air strikes in Houthi areas.

Last week, Houthi forces fired missiles and drones at the Red Sea port city of al-Mokha, causing deaths and injuries and damaging a hospital.

The group, which holds Sanaa and most of Yemen’s big urban centres, denies being puppets of Iran and says it is fighting a corrupt system.

Writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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