Four Saudi soldiers have been killed in an operation to seize back a border post from Yemeni Houthi fighters, Saudi Arabia’s state television has said.
Following the clashes, Saudi forces seized the position back from the fighters and “destroyed” them, the report added on Tuesday.
The latest casualties bring the death toll of Saudi soldiers in the border conflict with the Yemeni fighters to 82. Twenty-one others are reported missing.
The report quoted Prince Khaled bin Sultan, the assistant minister of defence, as saying that the Yemeni infiltrators had been given an ultimatum to leave the al-Jabri area where the border post is located within 48 hours.
“They did not comply … All of them have been destroyed,” Prince Khaled said.
“The infiltrators inflicted upon themselves hundreds of deaths.”
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Saudi Arabia has become increasingly involved in the conflict in Yemen, which is battling the Houthi fighters in the north.
Saudi entered the conflict with an air and ground offensive against the Yemeni rebels on November 5, after one of its soldiers was killed along the border.
The Houthis first took up arms against the Yemeni government of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president, in 2004, citing political, economic and religious marginalisation by the Saudi and Western-backed administration.
The conflict intensified in August when Yemen’s army launched Operation Scorched Earth in an attempt to crush the fighters in the northern province of Saada.
Aid groups, which have limited access to the northern provinces, say at least 150,000 people have fled their homes since 2004 because of the fighting.
spotted by RS