SAADA, Yemen, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The Yemeni army was close to retaking parts of Saada from al-Houthi rebels, military officials said Tuesday.
Several Yemeni soldiers had died in the offensive, which began Monday, Saba reported. An estimated 15 al-Houthi rebels had died and another 30 had been captured during the two-day clash, military sources said.
The rebels, who have been fighting the government since 2004, are Zaydi Shiites, a minority group in Yemen overall who represent the majority of the population in northern Yemen.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting, which intensified in August when the government stepped up its offensive against the rebels.