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Yemenis down Saudi jet, destroy warships

File photo shows Yemenis holding a portrait of the Ansarullah movement leader Muhammad Badrudin Houthi. (AFP photo)

Yemen's army forces, backed by Houthi Ansarullah fighters, have downed a Saudi fighter jet and destroyed a number of its gunboats in retaliation for Riyadh’s incessant airstrikes against its impoverished neighbor.

Military sources told Yemen’s official Saba’ Net agency that the army brigades downed a Saudi warplane in the northern Yemeni province of Sa’ada, with no immediate reports on the fate of crew and location of the incident.

The warplane was pounding residential areas in Sa'ada before being downed by a surface-to-air missile.

The Yemeni army said its forces also targeted three Saudi warships that were sailing off the port of al-Mokha, in the southern province of Tai’zz. It said in a statement the attack was carried out from al-Mukhatam region near Mokha, adding that two more Saudi vessels escaped the scene after receiving partial damage.

Yemenis also launched rocket attacks at the Saudi military positions south of the country, killing one Saudi soldier and three Qatari servicemen in al-Makhruq military base in the province of Najran.

Attacks by Houthis and allies on Saudi targets came hours after Riyadh carried out another round of deadly bombardments across Yemen, with reports suggesting that at least five civilians were killed in the city of Maswar in the northern province of Amran. Saba’ Net said huge losses were also inflicted on the properties of local residents. 

 Yemenis walk past the site of a Saudi airstrike that targeted a building in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on January 25, 2016. (AFP photo)

Yemen has been under incessant air strikes by Saudi Arabia since late March, 2015 with health sources estimating that more than 8,300 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced in the attacks. The aggression is meant to undermine the Houthis and restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

A bomb on Thursday exploded near the residence of Hadi in the southern port city of Aden, killing 12 people and injuring 12 others. 

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