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UN pulls out international staff from Yemen amid Saudi-led airstrikes

The United Nations has evacuated staff from Yemen after Saudi Arabia continued its airstrikes on Houthi rebels. Yemen's President Mansour Hadi has asked Riyadh to keep up the bombings.

More than 200 personnel from the UN, international organizations and foreign embassies were evacuated on Saturday after Saudi Arabia continued to pound Yemen to wipe out Shiite Houthi rebels threatening to take over the country.

Saudi warships carried dozens of foreign diplomats out of the port city Aden and

vowed to do "whatever it takes"

to prevent President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi's ouster by the Houthis, who could be receiving support from Iran.

"I call for this operation to continue until this gang surrenders and withdraws from all locations it has occupied in every province," Hadi told a

meeting of Arab League representatives at a summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt

.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Arab leaders to "lay down clear guidelines to peacefully resolve the crisis in Yemen," but Saudi King Salman vowed to continue the airstrikes until they brought "security" to Yemen's people.

Yemen's president has meanwhile left for Saudi Arabia with King Salman and is not planning to return to his country until the situation settled, Foreign Minister Riyad Yassin told journalists.

More than 60 people have been killed and 200 wounded in three days of fighting between Shiite rebels and anti-Houthi militia in Aden, according to the city's health department, news agency AFP reported.

The Houthis are backed by supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh who stepped down in 2012 after a year-long uprising. Chaos broke out in the Middle East's most impoverished country last month after the rebels took over the capital and drove President Hadi out.

mg/bk (AFP, Reuters)

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