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Houthi Rebels Declare State of Emergency in Yemeni Capital

Sputnik News

17:33 09.08.2015(updated 18:06 09.08.2015)

The Shiite Houthi movement that had captured parts of Yemen over the past months declared a state of emergency in the capital city Sanaa, media reports suggested Sunday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Al Arabiya network cited sources as saying that the state emergency took effect shortly after midnight as the group had braced for an offensive by pro-government forces.

Senior Yemeni military commander Abdullah Subaihi said last week he expected government forces to retake Sanaa within two weeks.

On Saturday, fighters loyal to President-in-exile Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi declared the southern province of Abyan liberated after its capital Zinjibar had been regained from Houthis. Media cited Yemeni security officials and pro-government fighters as saying that at least 20 allied fighters had died in friendly fire during the course of Zinjibar's liberation.

Pro-Hadi forces reclaimed the key southern port city of Aden in mid-July, the province of Lahij earlier this week and reportedly the Ad Dali province north of Aden on Saturday.

A Saudi-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen at Hadi's request since March. Hadi himself sought refuge in Aden before fleeing to Riyadh the same month.

Sputnik



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