Sixteen security forces and 69 rebels have been killed over the past three days in ongoing clashes between the Yemeni army and followers of a Shiite rebel leader the northern part of the country, Yemeni military officials said Tuesday.
An army official said government forces have fired artillery bombardments over the areas where followers of Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi are believed to using as hideouts in Saada, about 112 miles (180.24 kilometers) north of the Yemeni capital, San'a. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The official said along with the security forces and rebels killed, about 50 other militant rebels also have been arrested. A total of 80 rebels and 94 army and police officers have been killed in recent weeks.
The fighting comes as members of the Yemen Supreme Defense Council voiced concerns during a meeting on Tuesday, saying the Shiite rebels were receiving funds and assistance from outside countries, according to one of the council's members.
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