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Yemeni missile kills 31 Saudi mercenaries in Jawf: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi-backed militiamen drive an armed vehicle on a road leading to the entrance of Yemen’s southern province of Abyan on April 23, 2016. ©AFP

Yemeni forces have reportedly targeted a center of gathering belonging to Saudi mercenaries in the country’s northern province of al-Jawf, leaving more than two dozen militants dead.

On Saturday, Yemeni forces launched a ballistic missile at the Army’s 115th Division base in the provincial capital city of al-Hazm, where pro-Riyadh armed men had converged, Yemen's al-Masirah television network reported.

The strike claimed the lives of at least 31 Saudi mercenaries and left 24 others injured.

At least six high-ranking military commanders apparently died in the attack, according to a report published by the September 21 news website.

Elsewhere in the central Yemeni province of Ma’rib, a senior Saudi-backed militant commander, identified by the nom de guerre Abu al-Qa’qah, was killed after Yemeni armed forces pounded the Atis base.

Separately, Saudi fighter jets carried out a raft of aerial assaults against the city of Sirwah, situated about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of the capital Sana’a, as well as Nihm district in Yemen’s northern province of Sana’a. There were no immediate reports of casualties and the extent of the damage caused.

Saudi warplanes also bombarded a residential neighborhood in the al-Maton district of Jawf Province, although no reports of casualties and damage were available.

A Yemeni boy rides his bicycle in front of buildings that were damaged by Saudi airstrikes in the UNESCO-listed old city of Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on March 23, 2016. ©AFP

Also on Saturday, Yemen’s warring parties exchanged nearly 200 prisoners captured during fighting in the city of Ta’izz, situated 346 kilometers (214 miles) south of the capital.

Tribal chief Abdullatif al-Muradi said the militia forces loyal to the former government released 118 Ansarullah fighters, while the Houthis freed 76.

The prisoner swap in the embattled city, which marked the largest since the outbreak of Yemen conflict last year, was a local initiative and had no connection to UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to bring former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi — who is a staunch ally of Riyadh — back to power and defeat the Ansarullah movement.

More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured since the onset of the aggression.

The Saudi strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

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