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Al Houthi rocket fire kills six civilians in Hays

Attack comes after militants were booted from the town earlier this week

Gulf News

Al Mukalla: At least six civilians were killed and dozens injured on Wednesday when rockets fired by the Iran-backed Al Houthis hit residential areas in the newly liberated Hays town in Yemen’s western province of Hodeida, a local military commander told Gulf News.

Al Houthis who were expelled from Hays on Monday indiscriminately shelled the town with Katyusha rockets and mortar rounds, killing at least six civilians, said Abdul Raham Hajeri, a pro-government military officer.

The first wave of shells fell near a mosque, post office and meters from a police station.

“They began shelling Hays with Katyusha rockets and then mortar rounds showered on the town. These are desperate and retaliatory attacks by Al Houthi militia who suffered big setbacks on the Red Sea front,” Hajeri said, adding that government forces began combing farms and a large swathe of land outside Hays for Al Houthi militants who fired the rockets.

Backed by massive military support from the UAE Armed Forces, government forces seized control of Hays, a strategic town in Hodeida province, marking another key victory in the current offensive along Yemen’s long coastline on the Red Sea.

Hajeri said that the army is focusing on reenforcing security forces in Hays and other liberated areas before marching toward new areas in Hodeida.

“After bolstering security in Hays, our forces will move on two parallel tracks; the first is on the Red Sea coast while other forces will head towards Hodeida’s hilly areas,” Hajeri said.

Last year, government forces broke months of military stalemate after storming urban areas and military posts in Hodeida for the first time since the beginning of the war in 2015.

Meanwhile in the southern city of Taiz, residents told Gulf News that a local right activist was killed in Al Houthi mortar and gunfire attacks as government forces engage in fierce clashes with rebels on the city’s outskirts.

Al Houthi snipers gunned down Raham Al Bader, an activist, and her associate who were documenting Al Houthi attacks on civilians on the eastern outskirts of the city.

Yemen’s Defence Ministry said that as many 12 were killed on Wednesday when the rebels launched an attack on government forces on the western edges of the city.

Fierce clashes erupted on Habashi mountain and other areas amid air strikes by Saudi-led coalition fighters jets that helped government forces pushing back Al Houthi militants.

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