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Nov 25, 11:55 AM EST

Overnight fighting in contested Yemen province kills 47

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Yemeni city battered by siege in pivotal battle of civil war

Overnight fighting in contested Yemen province kills 47

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SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemeni security officials say overnight clashes between Shiite Houthi rebels and pro-government militias have killed 47 people, nearly all of them fighters.

They say rebels stormed the town of Dabab late Tuesday. The town lies on a crucial supply route for pro-government forces in the western Taiz province. Securing Taiz would allow pro-government forces to march north to the rebel-held capital, Sanaa.

The officials say two civilians were among the 47 killed in the fighting.

Yemen's fighting pits the Houthis and army units loyal to a former president against the internationally recognized government, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition.

The officials, who remain neutral in a conflict which has split Yemen's armed forces, spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.

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