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Two pilots martyred as UAE fighter jet crashes in Yemen

RIYADH: Two Emirati pilots were killed when their fighter jet crashed on Monday in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is battling Iran-backed rebels, the alliance said.
The Mirage jet crashed at dawn “due to a technical fault,” said the coalition statement published by SPA, hours after the UAE said one of its jets had gone missing.
In a statement on the UAE’s official WAM news agency, the Emirati armed forces had said the jet was “missing.”
It is the first known case of an Emirati jet from the coalition crashing since the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthi rebels began in March last year.
Coalition warplanes turned their crosshairs on Yemen’s second city Aden, home to a growing terrorist presence, for the first time last week.
Security officials and witnesses in Aden said a jet had crashed into a nearby mountain as coalition warplanes operated in the vicinity after clashes erupted between Yemeni forces and terrorists.
Footage from the foot of a hill near Aden showed locals pointing to debris strewn in the area and saying it belonged to the crashed jet.
A government official said a coalition jet had carried out an air raid against the home of a local Daesh commander at dawn, killing his 18-year-old son near the plane crash site. Apache helicopters were also taking part in the fighting on Monday, security officials said.
“We saw Apache helicopters fire rockets and open machine gun fire at Al-Qaeda militants” in Aden’s Mansura district, one witness said.
Meanwhile, Houthi rebels on Monday confirmed carrying out a prisoner exchange with Saudi Arabia and said they were open to negotiating a peace deal with the coalition.
He said the exchange of a captive Saudi army officer for seven fighters earlier this month came as part of an “initial and preliminary” stage of negotiations, which would be followed by “gradual steps”...

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