Yemeni warplanes killed at least 44 Shi'ite rebels in a series air strikes near the Saudi border, a senior government official said Sunday. The insurgents, however, claim the dead were civilians.
Mohammed Abdelallah al-Qawsi, deputy interior minister, said 27 of the rebels were killed by a strike on a rebel hideout in an abandoned hospital in the small town of Razeh.
The rebels, however, said the hospital was still functional and those killed inside were civilians.
"This is another lie by the government, all those who were killed were innocent civilians," said rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel Salam by telephone.
The Yemeni army maintained rebels were shooting at the army from the hospital.