Aden, April 9: At least 20 Shiite Huthi rebels were killed in southern Yemen today by Saudi-led coalition air strikes and an ambush by pro-government militia, army and loyalist militia sources said.
"Fourteen Huthis were killed in eight dawn air raids by the coalition on their positions near Dar Saad," a northern district of the port city of Aden, a loyalist army source told AFP.
In the nearby city of Daleh, fighters allied with fugitive President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi attacked a Huthi position, killing six militants, said Southern Movement chief Nasser al-Shuaibi.
AFP could not immediately obtain independent confirmation, and the Huthis rarely acknowledge their losses.
Meanwhile, coalition air strikes on the southern Shabwa province hit Muhra military camp, which is controlled by troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who is allied with the rebels, a local government official said.
Following the raid, some 300 fighters fled the base and deployed unopposed in the provincial capital of Ataq, where they raised Huthi flags after seizing local government and police installations, military sources said.
Witnesses said tribesmen led by chief Hasan Banan, who is close to the Huthis, have cooperated with the rebels. The World Health Organization says at least 643 people were killed and 2,226 wounded in fighting between March 19 and April 6.
And UNICEF has said at least 74 children were confirmed to have died and a further were 44 wounded since air strikes began on March 26.