Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen claim to have captured several troops from Saudi Arabia, which is leading a coalition against the insurgents, parading one of the soldiers on television.
A Saudi-led coalition of Gulf states launched airstrikes in late March in an attempt to stop the rebels’ advance and restore exiled Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.
Hadi, Bahah and other members of the cabinet were forced out of the capital Sana’a by the rebels, as al-Qaeda and Islamic State (Isis) rebels were wreaking havoc in the Arab world’s poorest country.
Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Bahah was accompanied by several government ministers when he arrived in the southern port city of Aden on Wednesday.
The minister’s will focus on restoring security and stability to the country, beginning with focusing on security in Aden, Yemen’s second-largest city, according to Rajeh Badi, who spoke from Aden.
“The coalition forces and the Popular Resistance in Marib should secure Marib and Al Jawf provinces before Sanaa as they can not go towards Sanaa and leave their rear exposed to the Houthis“, he said.
Yemeni and coalition troops have also laid siege to Al Mass military base, north of Marib, which is occupied by Houthis and their allies, the sources said.
The United Nations says nearly 4,900 people have been killed and some 25,000 wounded since late March, while 21 million out of Yemen’s population of 25 million have been affected by the conflict.
Witnesses said the entire contents of the Church of Saint Joseph were burned.
The exiled government pulled out of U.N.-sponsored peace talks at the weekend but Badi said on Tuesday it was ready to join them if the Houthis publicly accepted a United Nations resolution calling on them to recognise Hadi as president and withdraw from Yemen’s main cities.
Last month, officials announced Aden would become the capital for a period of five years, replacing Sanaa, which is still under the control of the Houthis.