Saudi Arabia 'pushes back Yemeni fighters from border town'

Saudi forces have repulsed Yemeni Shi'ite fighters trying to seize a border village inside the kingdom, Saudi state media said.

Saudi Arabia 'pushes back Yemeni fighters from border town'

Saudi forces have repulsed Yemeni Shi'ite fighters trying to seize a border village inside the kingdom, Saudi state media said on Thursday, while fighting continued on both sides of the border.

Saudi troops pushed back the fighters, referred to as "infiltrators" by state television, from the Jaberi village and killed an unspecified number of the southerners. The report gave no further details.

Saudi Arabia launched its assault on neighbouring Yemen's Shi'ite Muslim fighters -- known as the Houthis -- in early November after they staged a cross-border incursion that killed two Saudi border guards.

The fighters said on their website that the Saudi military had maintained its offensive, launching 37 air attacks and nearly 390 missiles in border areas on Thursday. Yemeni air strikes also continued, they said.

The Houthis belong to the minority Zaidi sect of Shi'ism, and complain of social, economic and religious marginalisation, but the fighters and the Yemeni government deny their aims are sectarian.

In southern Yemen, demonstrators marched in several towns to demand the release of those arrested in earlier protests, residents said.

Southern activists have long complained that the government and northerners exploit and discriminate against the south, which holds most of Yemen's oil facilities.

Reuters
Last Mod: 11 Aralık 2009, 08:25
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