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YEMEN - The army destroyed Tuesday with artillery and tanks a number of houses in the old city of Sa'adah where al-Houthi rebels were positioning, military sources participating in the attack said.
Before the attack, the army was calling through loudspeakers to the rebels inside the houses to surrender themselves giving them an ultimatum until mid night Monday.
The bombardment on their houses started immediately after the ultimatum ended at 12:00 and continued until early morning Tuesday. The houses in Najran zone, which are all rebels' houses, were destroyed, the sources said.
We were pounding with artillery and tanks from meters away from the houses, so we did not miss any target, the sources said.
No one surrendered himself, and no one escaped because the old city is surrounded from all directions by the army, the sources said. The fate of the rebels inside the houses is still unknown.
Al-Houthi rebels are only in one neighborhood called Najran, and the other areas in the old city are lived by people loyal to the government and this is why it was difficult for the army to clean up the city from the rebels from the beginning of the war in August 10.
At least 20 al-Houthi rebels were killed when they tried to implement a suicide attack on the government offices inside Sa'adah city Monday, according to local sources in the city.
The army is determined to clean the whole city of Sa'adah from the rebels who hide among the people and implement attacks on the security forces.
The destruction of the rebels' houses came after the rebels failed in attacking the house of the tribal sheikh Hussein Aidha in the middle of the city of Sa'adah early Monday.
More than 70 al-Houthi rebels and 25 tribesmen were killed also Monday in fierce battles between the rebels and tribesmen in Dammj area about 15 km southeast of Sa'adah city. The first Salafi School, Dar Al Hadith, in Yemen was established in the area of Dammaj. Salafis who came from Saudi Arabia in early 1980s are considered to be the historic opponents of the Zaidi- Shiite Houthis.