Dozens of Yemeni rebels killed in Red Sea port city: medics

Women artists at work during the Misk Art festival in Riyadh

Women artists at work during the Misk Art festival in Riyadh

According to UNICEF, 1.8 million Yemeni children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, and the lives of 400,000 severely affected children are under threat.

During a visit to Hodeida's main hospital, Cappelaere said he saw children suffering from severe malnutrition and others paralyzed by complications from diphtheria, an epidemic fueled by the breakdown of health services.

"We must do all we can to prevent the already dire conditions from deteriorating", said the United Nations chief in a press conference on Friday, Press TV reported.

Following the collapse of the talks, which would have been the first of their kind in almost two years, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Houthi-held Hodeidah, a strategically important Red Sea port city.

The port is a vital gateway for imports of food, medicines and other essential supplies, as well as much of the humanitarian aid heading to northern Yemen.

Yemen's rebel-run al-Masirah TV said more than 30 airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition targeted the air base and surrounding areas in the rebel-held capital.

According to the World Health Organisation, almost 10,000 people have since been killed.

Despite a high-profile modernisation drive aimed at improving Saudi Arabia's image and attracting foreign investment, rights groups have detailed a crackdown on activists, increase in executions and discrimination against the Shiite minority.

Dozens of Houthi rebels have been killed since Saturday in fighting and airstrikes in Hodeida, on the west coast of Yemen, medical sources told AFP Sunday.

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No specific bribery allegations against Viyalendran were made, but the party condemned him for "being a part of this conspiracy". TNA represents ethnic Tamils for whom the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels fought for an independent state.

"This is the first time clashes have reached this point", a pro-coalition Yemeni military source said.

Despite overwhelming military superiority over the Iran-supported Houthi fighters, the Saudi-led coalition has been unable to dislodge the rebels for over three years now.

The latest clashes around Hodeidah erupted last Thursday just hours after the government said it was ready to restart peace talks.

Half the population of Yemen - some 14 million people - could soon be on the brink of starvation, the United Nations says, in what it describes as the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis.

After UN-backed peace talks collapsed in September, the coalition announced it was re-launching an assault on Hodeida.

Yemeni government officials said Tuesday that the coalition had sent more than 10,000 new troops towards the battleground city, seized by the rebels in 2014 along with the capital Sanaa.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to push back the Houthis and return President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

According to the United Nations, at least 10,000 people have been killed since the coalition entered the conflict.

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