22 Yemeni rebels killed in strikes, clashes: officials

Britain accounts for 23 percent of arms imports to Saudi Arabia and last year signed a preliminary order with Riyadh for 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets (AFP Photo/FAYEZ NURELDINE)

Aden (AFP) - At least 22 Shiite Huthi rebels were killed Monday in an air strike by pro-government Arab coalition warplanes as well as clashes in western Yemen, officials said.

The strike on a military base in the city of Bajil, northeast of provincial capital Hodeida on the Red Sea, killed 16 rebels, said a medical official and a military source.

The raid by warplanes from the Saudi-led Arab coalition wounded 23 others, the sources in Hodeida said.

To the south, clashes between the rebels and loyalists near the city of Mokha left six insurgents dead, according to the same sources who said their bodies were taken to a morgue in Hodeida.

Troops loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi took Mokha on February 10 and announced they aimed to push north and take the country's main Red Sea port of Hodeida next.

Allied with forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Iran-backed Huthis control most of Yemen's 450-kilometre (280-mile) Red Sea coast, the capital Sanaa and much of the northern highlands.

The Arab coalition mounted a military campaign against the rebels in March 2015 when insurgents closed in on Hadi in his refuge in the southern city of Aden.

More than 7,500 people have been killed in the conflict since then, according to the United Nations.