Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malek Saeed (left) being sworn in by Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Riyadh. Image Credit: Courtesy: Saba

Cairo: Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi Thursday swore in Maeen Abdul Malek Saeed as the country’s new prime minister. The swearing-in took place in Riyadh, where Hadi is staying.

It comes three days after Hadi sacked Ahmad Bin Dagher from the post over failure to handle the war-wracked country’s economic deterioration and referred him to investigation.

Following Thursday’s swearing-in, Hadi outlined a set of priorities for the new prime minister, mainly addressing the economic situation and providing the necessary services for Yemenis, the state news agency Saba reported.

Hadi assured Saeed, a 42-year-old technocrat, of his full support so that he and his government will do their duties and “fulfil their aspirations in security, stability and decent living,” Saba said.

Yemen, engaged in a devastating war for more than three years, has recently seen angry street protests over economic woes and a collapse in the local currency that has sent prices of basic items soaring.

A Saudi-led coalition, backing Hadi, is fighting Iran-allied Al Houthi militants, who deposed the Yemeni government in late 2014.

In recent weeks, government forces, backed by the coalition air power, have made territorial gains against Al Houthis in a multi-front campaign in Yemen.

A total of 78 Al Houthi militiamen were killed when Yemeni forces repulsed two separate attacks, Al Arabiya reported Thursday.

Eight militiamen were killed and 15 others when the government forces foiled an attack on the edges of the south-western province of Taiz, the television said, citing a military source.

At least 70 other militiamen were killed when pro-government forces repelled an infiltration attempt by Al Houthis to re-open a supply route linking the capital Sana’a and the port city of Hodeida.

The pro-government Giants Brigades said they were engaged in fierce fighting against the militiamen following the thwarted bid, and that coalition jets inflicted heavy casualties and material damage on the rebels east of Hodeida.

Al Houthis have been in control of Sana’a and Hodeida since late 2014.

Supported by the coalition, the government forces have since last September intensified attacks to expel the militants from Hodeida. The city in western Yemen is strategically important due to its vital seaport.