ADEN, Yemen, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Nine people were killed in Yemen after Houthi rebel militants launched an overnight attack on sites of the government forces in the northern province of al-Jawf, a government military official said on Monday.
"Heavy armed confrontations took place between the government forces and the Houthi fighters in Abtar area and other adjacent areas bordering Saudi Arabia late on Sunday night, killing at least four soldiers and five rebels," the local military official said on condition of anonymity.
"The government forces succeeded in aborting the rebel attack," he said, adding the Houthis have stepped up their attacks on the Yemeni government forces stationed in the areas bordering Saudi Arabia in the past few weeks.
Yemen has witnessed sporadic armed confrontations between the local warring factions, after a cease-fire brokered by the United Nations expired in October last year.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi militia stormed several northern cities and forced the Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa. ■