15 Houthi rebels killed in Yemen

Aden, June 20 (IANS/AKI) At least 15 Shia al-Houthi militiamen were killed in a raid by Popular Resistance Committee loyal to fugitive President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in southern Yemen, al-Arabiya reported.

The raid took place on a station in the port city of Aden on Friday, the satellite TV channel said.

Meanwhile, pro-Houthi militias shelled the historic al-Ashrafiya mosque in Taez in southern Yemen while forces loyal to deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with Popular Resistance fighters, the report added.

UN-mediated talks in Geneva between Hadi and Houthi rebels collapsed in Geneva on Friday.

The UN said that $1.6 billion was now needed to face a “looming catastrophe” in conflict-wracked Yemen, where over 80 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

Yemen’s government insists that the rebels must withdraw from the vast territory they have seized and protested that the Houthi delegation was more than double the pre-agreed maximum of 10 people.

The rebels have demanded that the Saudi-led campaign of airstrikes that began in March be halted before they will agree to a ceasefire.

Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in September 2014 before surging on towards the second city of Aden, forcing Hadi and his government into exile in Saudi Arabia.

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