Yemen crisis: Army chief killed in missile strike on camp

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Yemeni army deputy chief of staff Major General Ahmad Saif al-Yafei in the western coastal town of Mokha, 22 February 2017Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Maj Gen Ahmed Saif al-Yafei was killed when a missile struck a Yemeni army camp

Yemen's deputy army commander has been killed in a missile strike by Houthi rebels on a Red Sea army camp, military officials say.

Maj Gen Ahmed Saif al-Yafei is said to have died in the attack outside the port city of Mokha.

His death will be seen as a major setback for government forces, which are backed by a Saudi-led coalition.

The Yemeni government has yet to recapture the capital, Sanaa, after two years of civil war.

Maj Gen Yafei was killed along with several others when the missile hit the army camp near Mokha early on Wednesday, the military source, who is also a member of the general's family, told Reuters news agency.

The port city was captured from rebels last month.

The coalition, which has received logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK and France, has been fighting the Houthis and forces loyal to a former Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, since March 2015.

Its aim is to restore the internationally recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Yemen's war has killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced more than three million people since 2015.

The conflict and a blockade imposed by the coalition has triggered a humanitarian disaster, leaving 80% of the population in need of aid.