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Dozens killed in border war with Yemeni rebels, ministry says

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-12-22

A Saudi official said on Tuesday that 73 Saudi soldiers had died and a further 26 had gone missing in the border war waged since November against Yemeni Shiite rebels.

AFP - Seventy-three Saudis have been killed and 26 are missing since fighting broke out in November between Saudi forces and Yemeni rebels, a Saudi minister told reporters on Tuesday.

"The confrontation on the southern border" has resulted in "73 martyrs and 26 missing," said Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan in comments broadcast on television from a media conference in Al-Khoba in southern Jizan province.

It was not immediately clear how many of the dead and missing were soldiers.

Fighting between Saudi forces and Yemeni Shiite rebels, also known as Huthis, began on November 3 when the rebels killed a Saudi border guard and occupied two villages inside Saudi territory.

Saudi jets began bombing Huthi positions the following day.

The Huthis have also been fighting Yemeni forces sporadically since 2004. The latest round broke out after government troops launched "Operation Scorched Earth," an all-out assault against the rebels, on August 11.

Date created : 2009-12-22

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