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War continues to rage in Yemen for control of Marib, the last bastion of power in the north of the country. Heavy fighting between Saudi-backed government forces and Houthi rebels left more than 100 people dead in three days, according to a new toll on Sunday.
Heavy fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels in northern Yemen’s Marib province has left at least 111 dead in the past three days, government military officials said on Sunday (June 27th).
The last bastion of power in the north of the war-ravaged country, Marib has been the scene of violent clashes since February, when the rebels, close to Iran, launched an offensive on this oil-rich area that still eludes them. .
The fighting resulted in the deaths of 16 members of government forces and more than 34 rebels between Saturday evening and dawn Sunday, military sources loyal to the government told AFP.
This toll comes in addition to the clashes on Thursday and Friday which killed 13 loyalist fighters as well as 48 Houthis, they added.
Houthi fighters rarely communicate about losses in their ranks.
According to the same military sources, the Houthis launched simultaneous attacks on three fronts: south, west and north of the town of Marib, capital of the region with the same name.
Most of the rebels killed or wounded were in heavy airstrikes by the Saudi-led military coalition, which has supported the government since 2015.
Since the capture of the capital Sanaa in 2014, which started the war, rebels have seized a large part of the north of the country. In recent months, they have waged a fierce campaign to wrest Marib, despite calls for a ceasefire from the United Nations and the United States.
Failure of diplomatic efforts
The Houthis also regularly launch missiles and drones towards Saudi territory, targeting in particular its oil installations. Riyadh recently regretted that the rebels did not accept his unilateral ceasefire proposal.
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The Houthis are demanding that the Saudis first lift their air and sea embargo on Yemen.
In mid-June, the UN envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, drew up before the United Nations Security Council a statement of the failure of his efforts to end the war, at the end of a mission three years.
>> See also: Yemen ravaged by endless conflict
The conflict has devastated this already very poor country on the Arabian Peninsula. With tens of thousands of deaths according to NGOs and a population on the brink of widespread famine, the United Nations has called the situation in Yemen the worst ongoing humanitarian crisis in the world.