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At least 25 soldiers killed in Houthi missile strike on army camp: Yemen officials

A motorcyclist drives past a wall with banners depicting portraits of late Houthi fighters allegedly killed in Yemen's ongoing conflict, in Sanaa, Yemen, 18 January 2020.
A motorcyclist drives past a wall with banners depicting portraits of late Houthi fighters allegedly killed in Yemen's ongoing conflict, in Sanaa, Yemen, 18 January 2020. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB

SANAA, Yemen — A missile attack launched by Shiite rebels in Yemen hit an army camp Saturday, killing at least 25 troops, Yemeni officials said.

The strike in the central province of Marib wounded around 10 others. Officials said they expected the death toll to rise as burn victims were rushed to hospitals.

Marib lies about 115 kilometers (70 miles) east of the capital, Sanaa.

READ MORE: 10 dead after missile attack hits military parade in southern Yemen

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the media.

The Houthi attack on the military training camp followed an ongoing barrage of assaults by Saudi-backed government forces on rebel targets east of Sanaa. Those attacks killed at least 22 people on both sides, according to officials.

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The combat signalled a major escalation in the capital’s eastern suburbs after months of relative quiet.

Click to play video 'Missile strike at military parade in Yemen kills at least 5, injures others' Missile strike at military parade in Yemen kills at least 5, injures others
Missile strike at military parade in Yemen kills at least 5, injures others

Also on Saturday, Houthi fighters and government forces traded heavy volleys of artillery fire just south of the Hodeida port, killing at least seven people, including two civilians, according to Wadah Dobish, a spokesman for government forces on Yemen’s western coast.

The statement said residential areas were caught in the crosshairs due to indiscriminate mortar fire.

The fighting breaches a UN-brokered cease-fire in the strategic port city of Hodeida, which is the main entry point for humanitarian aid and food into Yemen.

READ MORE: Yemen’s government signs deal with separatists to stop infighting

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Iran-backed Houthi rebels have remained in control of the capital, Sanaa, along with much of the country’s north, since ousting the government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in 2014.

The conflict became a regional proxy war months later, when a Saudi-led military coalition intervened to drive out the Houthis and restore the internationally recognized government.

The grinding war in the Arab world’s poorest country has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 3 million and pushed the country to the brink of major famine.