Top commander in Yemen's army killed

SANAA, Yemen (AP) " Yemen's army has announced the death of its most senior commander to be killed this year in the country's ongoing civil war.

In a statement late on Friday, it said Maj-Gen. Abdul-Rab al-Shadadi was killed while leading an offensive against the Iranian-backed Shiite rebels known as the Houthis east of the capital Sanaa. Three militia commanders fighting alongside the army of the internationally-recognized government were also killed.

It says all four were killed when a missile fired by the Houthis struck their position on Friday.

A Saudi-led coalition backing the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has been fighting against the Houthis and their allies, including former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's loyalists, since March 2015.

The rebels control the capital Sanaa and vast swathes of territory in northern Yemen.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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