A Saudi-led coalition has launched a new round of airstrike in Yemen, targeting several rebel positions across the country. Pakistan's top leaders are in Saudi Arabia to push for negotiations in the Yemen conflict.
The raids hit Houthi positions close to the capital Sanaa, around the Taiz and in the central town of Yarim, the residents said. But the strikes were also carried out in the southern province of Lah and around the approach to the main southern city of Aden.
According to the residents of Sanaa, raids targeted positions held by rebel troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. In Yarim, warplanes hit an old university building used as headquarters of the Houthi rebels and in villages north of Yemen's southern city of Aden targets included tanks of the anti-Hadi forces.
Meanwhile, a newly announced division of the "Islamic State" group "Green Brigade" claimed a bombing in Yemen that had killed five Shiite rebels. The group said it ad struck a vehicle of the Houthi rebels in Yarim.
The resumption of Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen occurred a day after the coalition announced an end to a month-long bombing campaign. However, Saudi officials said forces would continue to target the Iran-allied Houthi rebels as necessary.
The air campaign had been focused on armory and infrastructure used by the Houthis, who overran several locations controlled by the troops loyal to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Nevertheless, Riyadh's four-week aerial assault on Yemen has left the Arab world's poorest nation facing hunger and interruptions to water and electricity, with almost 1,000 dead and many more injured.
Pakistan leaders in Saudi Arabia to press Yemen negotiations
Pakistan's prime minister, Newaz Sharif, and defense minister, Khawaja Asif, were expected to meet Saudi Arabian King Salman on Thursday to discuss the crisis.
The visit was seen as an attempt to improve ties, which were strained when Islamabad opted to support only the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, but still declined to send troops, jets and warships.
Pakistan welcomed kingdom's decision to end a month-long air campaign in Yemen, but a Saudi-led alliance launched a new airstrike on Houthi rebels on Wednesday.
jil/kms (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)