Ministry of Defense says army captures a number of fighters in day 6 of operation in country's North.
By ALEX SORIN, APPublished: AUGUST 17, 2009 22:26Advertisement
Yemen's defense minister announced on Sunday that the Houthi rebels had been met with painful strikes from the Yemeni army throughout the last battle, which inflicted heavy losses and paralyzed their movement, Al Jazeera reported Monday.
According to the minister's statements, the army captured a number of fighters in the sixth day of the operation in the country's North.
Muhammad Nasir Ahmad Ali of the Yemeni Military Academy told Al Jazeera that the captured rebels would stand trial.
On Sunday, the Yemeni army used fighter planes to bomb the Houthi rebels in the mountains, and a French news agency quoted local sources as saying that rebel leaders and eight fighters had been killed in the violent clashes on Sunday in the Harf Shifan area, according to Al Jazeera.
Seven Yemeni soldiers have been wounded in the latest clashes with the Houthi rebels in Saada, and Houthi sources claim to have inflicted significant damage on the Yemeni army.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni government has denied accusations from Shi'ite rebel leader Abdul-Mallik al-Houthi that the army has targeted civilians with fighter planes and white phosphorus in the latest operation.
Sources in the Yemeni Defense Ministry also denied a report by an Iranian news agency claiming that Saudi Arabia had participated in the battle with the Yemeni army in Saada, according to Al Jazeera.
The recent fighting has been closer to the capital, San'a, than other battles over the past several days.
The government began the offensive Tuesday with bombing raids on several districts of the northern Saada province, bordering Saudi Arabia.
, after rebels claimed they had wrested more control of the area from government troops.
The rebellion began in 2004 and is led by Shi'ite guerrillas who say the government is corrupt and too closely allied with the West.
Some 17,000 families have been displaced so far due to the fighting. The rebels rejected conditions for a cease-fire announced by Yemen on Thursday, Reuters reported on Friday.
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