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18 civilians killed as Yemen war rages

SANAA, Yemen - Rockets fired by Shiite rebels have killed at least 18 civilians and 13 anti-rebel fighters in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, where fierce fighting has been raging for months, the director of Aden's health services said Wednesday.

Health officials and eyewitnesses said at least 7 civilians were killed and 18 wounded in the Mansoura area of Aden when the rebels, known as Houthis, fired Katyusha rockets into a street overnight.

Ahmed Munir, a local resident, said a rocket fell on the street, and that when people rushed to help the injured, another rocket hit the same spot. Yasser Mubarak, another eyewitness, said he saw body parts scattered across the street.

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Another twenty four people were killed in separate incidents in Aden in which rebels fired at least twenty Katyusha rockets and mortar rounds on homes and neighborhoods, according to security officials and eyewitnesses. At least 100 people were wounded, they said.

Medical officials say hospitals in Aden are overwhelmed, as operating rooms work around the clock to treat patients injured in the ongoing conflict. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

The fighting in Yemen pits the Houthis and allied troops loyal to a former president against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and loyalists of the exiled current president. The rebels seized the capital in September, and in March, a Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition began launching airstrikes against the rebel forces.

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes continued Wednesday in Shabwa and Taiz provinces. Twelve Houthis were killed when an airstrike hit an encampment in Shabwa, medical and security officials said. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Humanitarian disaster unfolding in Yemen

The Saudi military said Wednesday that a soldier posted along the country's southern border died of wounds sustained from a missile strike launched by Shiite rebels from inside Yemen. It did not specify when the attack took place.

The Houthis frequently fire missiles from inside Yemen at Saudi border posts. More than two dozen Saudi soldiers have been killed in such attacks.

Airstrikes and ground fighting have killed more than 1,400 civilians since March and displaced more than a million amid shortages of fuel and medical supplies, according to U.N. agencies.

According to the World Health Organization, 3,083 people have died as a result of the conflict and another 14,324 have been wounded, U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Tuesday.

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