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8 Saudis killed on border with Yemen in one week

Residents of Sanaa have reported an increase in Saudi bombings since the cross-border attacks by Houthis
Opposition forces take aim as they fight against Houthis on the western side of Mount Cerre in Taiz, Yemen on 28 November 2015 (AA)

Shelling from Yemen has killed another Saudi border guard, the interior ministry said, the eighth death from Yemeni firing into the kingdom in just three days.

The latest bombardment hit security posts in Saudi Arabia's Jazan district at about midday on Monday, the ministry said.

Cross-border shelling from Yemen has claimed the lives of five members of the security forces and three civilians in the kingdom since Saturday.

Three border guards were killed in Jizan on 30 November, trying to fend off what the Saudi interior ministry described as "an attempt by hostile elements to infiltrate the kingdom’s borders using machine guns and artillery" - a reference to the Yemeni Houthi rebels. The Houthi militia seized capital Sanaa last September.

Their deaths bring to more than 80 the number of people killed in the Saudi border zone since the kingdom and its Arab allies launched a military intervention against the Houthis in March.

Most of the casualties have been soldiers.

Residents of Yemen's capital Sanaa have reported an increase in Saudi bombings over their city in the aftermath of Saudi casualties on the border.

In late October Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir indicated that coalition military operations in Yemen appeared to be nearing an end.

The kingdom voiced optimism that United Nations-led peace talks would begin, after previous attempts at negotiations stalled.

In early November the UN's special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, told AFP he was "very optimistic" negotiations would start by the middle of that month.

But fighting has continued inside Yemen, as well as in the border zone, with the coalition backing Yemeni anti-Houthi forces in support of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The United Nations says more than 5,700 people have been killed in Yemen since March, nearly half of them civilians.

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