Ten Yemeni soldiers have been killed, most of them by snipers, and 18 wounded in a fresh outbreak of fighting with Shiite rebels in north Yemen, a military official said today.
The latest clashes come days after the government announced a timetable for a ceasefire, to which the rebels have yet to respond.
The fighting took place around the northern city of Saada, in Harf Sufyan, which lies to the south of the city, and in the Malahidh border area, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
He added that most of those killed were gunned down by snipers. The official also said that a group of several hundred Yemeni soldiers who were besieged by rebel forces in the mountains southeast of Saada were able to break out of the cordon on Monday.
The rebels had dug trenches and laid a number of landmines around Jebel al-Samah, trapping the soldiers for the past 10 days.
The official said that there "were casualties" in the fighting, but did not elaborate.
The Yemeni government on Saturday announced a timetable for the implementation of a ceasefire, after the rebels accepted six conditions for an end to the fighting.
The details of the timetable were transmitted to rebel leader Abdul Malak al-Huthi through a go-between, presidential adviser Abdul Karim al-Ariania said.