Yemeni official: Rebel missiles hit key city, killing 3

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CAIRO (AP) — A Yemeni government official said Tuesday that Houthi rebels fired two missiles in the latest attack in the government-held city of Marib, killing at least three people, including a child.

The missiles landed in the Rawdha neighborhood in the crowded city, according to Ali al-Ghulisi, the provincial governor’s press secretary.

At least 10 other people, including two children, were wounded in the attack, al-Ghulisi said.

The Houthis said they targeted military camps in the city, though they did not provide evidence to support their claim.

Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war since 2014, when the Iranian-backed Houthis swept across much of the north and seized the capital, Sanaa, forcing the internationally recognized government into exile. The Saudi-led coalition entered the war the following year on the side of the government. The war has killed more than 130,000 people and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Tuesday’s missiles landed in the same residential neighborhood where a Houthi missile and explosive-laden drone attack hit a gas station earlier this month, killing at least 21 people, including a father and his 2-year-old daughter.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been attempting since February to capture Marib from the internationally recognized government, which would complete their control over the northern part of Yemen.

However, they have not made substantial progress and have suffered heavy losses amid stiff resistance from government forces aided by the Saudi-led coalition supporting them.

The Houthis have fired ballistic missiles and sent drones into Marib, often hitting civilian areas and camps for displaced people. More than 120 civilians have been killed, including 15 children, and more than 220 wounded in Marib in the past six months, according to the government.

The U.S.’s top diplomat in Yemen, Cathy Westley, condemned Tuesday’s attack and called for the Houthis to “accept a cease-fire and engage in negotiations” on a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

The Houthi offensive on Marib, combined with accelerating missile and explosives-laden drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, has come amid mounting international efforts to halt the fighting and relaunch talks between the warring parties to end the war in the Arab world's poorest country.

Samy Magdy, The Associated Press

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