24 Houthi insurgents killed in Yemen Red Sea port clashes

Yemen government troops advance toward the Red Sea coast city of Mokha, Yemen, in this January 23, 2017 photo. (REUTERS/Fawaz Salman)
Updated 08 February 2017
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24 Houthi insurgents killed in Yemen Red Sea port clashes

ADEN, Yemen: Thirty-two combatants were killed Wednesday in the battle for a key coastal town in western Yemen between government forces and Shiite Houthi insurgents, officials said.
The deaths occurred as forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Masnour Hadi advanced into neighborhoods of Mokha and Houthis retreated to northern and western parts of the town, military sources said.
Loyalists backed by the firepower of a Saudi-led Arab coalition entered the strategic port town in late January as part of their efforts to drive the rebels away from the Red Sea coast.
The clashes on Wednesday left dead 24 Houthi insurgents, including 12 whose bodies were taken a hospital in Mokha, medical officials said.
The other 12 were rebels whose remains were found by advancing troops and later buried in Mokha, a loyalist military official said.
Eight soldiers were killed, military and medical officials said.
Mokha was Yemen’s main port serving as its export hub for coffee until it was overtaken by Aden and Hodeida in the 19th century.
Forces supporting Hadi, backed by the coalition, began a major offensive on January 7 to recapture the coastline overlooking the strategic Bab Al-Mandab Strait.
More than 400 combatants have been killed since government forces launched their drive up the Red Sea coastline.


Libyan coast guard picks up almost 1,000 migrants in one day

Updated 25 June 2018
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Libyan coast guard picks up almost 1,000 migrants in one day

  • The western coast of Libya is the main departure point for thousands of migrants fleeing wars and poverty and trying to reach Europe
  • A witness watching the arrival of another coast guard ship at Tripoli’s Abu Sittah naval base said a third group included 490 migrants picked up off Qarabulli town

TRIPOLI: Libyan coast guards picked up 948 African migrants on inflatable boats in several operations and also recovered 10 bodies on Sunday, officials and a witness at a naval base said.
The operations brings the number, since last week, of mainly African migrants trying to head to Italy but brought back to Libya to almost 2,000.
The western coast of Libya is the main departure point for thousands of migrants fleeing wars and poverty and trying to reach Europe.
The number of crossings has dropped sharply since July 2017 when an armed group expelled human traffickers from a smuggling hub after an Italy-backed deal.
“The coast guards picked up illegal migrants in different groups. The first group is 97 on one inflatable boat and the second group is 361 migrants on two inflatable boats,” Naval forces spokesman Ayoub Qassem told Reuters.
“The second group was taken to Khums town,” Qassem said, adding that the two groups included 110 women and 70 children.
A witness watching the arrival of another coast guard ship at Tripoli’s Abu Sittah naval base said a third group included 490 migrants picked up off Qarabulli town. Among them were 75 women and 20 children.
Libya plunged into chaos following the NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with many armed groups and two administrations vying for power.
Most migrants try to head across the Mediterranean toward Italy, hoping they will be picked up by ships run by aid groups and taken there, although many drown before they are rescued.
Earlier this month, Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini vowed to no longer let charity ships offload rescued migrants in Italy, leaving one ship stranded at sea for several days with more than 600 migrants until Spain offered them safe harbor.
Italy criticized Malta on Sunday over its refusal to take in a Dutch-flagged aid vessel with more than 230 migrants on board.