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Dozens of Yemeni rebels killed in Red Sea port city: medics

AFP  |  Hodeida (Yemen) 

Dozens of Yemeni rebels have been killed in battles and air strikes in Hodeida, medics said Sunday, as pro-government forces advanced in the insurgent-held port city.

The bloodshed comes despite growing international pressure to end a years-long conflict that has left thousands dead.

Fifty-three Huthi rebels were killed and dozens were injured over the past 24 hours, medical sources in Hodeida told AFP.

Clashes intensified in the city and centred around its university on Saturday and Sunday morning, a said.

Huthi media reported air strikes in Hodeida on Sunday but did not give a fighter casualty toll.

Military officials said Saudi-led coalition warplanes carried out dozens of air strikes to support pro-government forces in the fighting which began on Thursday evening.

Thirteen pro-government troops were killed, medical sources in Aden and Mokha - where the fighters were transported - told AFP.

The clashes erupted just hours after the government said Thursday it was ready to restart peace talks with the Iran-backed Huthis. The offer followed a surprise call by the for an end to the

war, including air strikes by the coalition.

is the entry point for more than 70 per cent of imports into the impoverished country, which is teetering on the edge of famine.

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, a for (UNHCR), appealed for an immediate ceasefire.

"As an international community we have been shamefully slow to act to end the crisis in Yemen," she said in a statement during a trip to

"We have watched the situation deteriorate to the point that is now on the brink of man-made famine, and facing the epidemic in the world in decades," Jolie added.

"The only way to enable refugees to return home, and to bring down the overall numbers worldwide, is to end conflicts themselves." UN on Friday had called for a halt to violence to pull back from the "precipice".

After UN-backed peace talks collapsed in September, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Hodeida.

officials said Tuesday that the coalition had sent more than 10,000 new troops towards the battleground city.

and its allies intervened in the war in 2015 to bolster Yemeni after the rebels took over the capital and drove the government further south to Aden.

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 10,000 people have since been killed.

Some rights groups estimate the toll could be five times higher.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, November 04 2018. 19:10 IST