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Yemen's rebels say attack on Saudi border frontline captured 'thousands'

Saudi Arabia has not yet confirmed Houthis' claim that thousands of enemy troops, including officers and soldiers of the Saudi army, have been captured
Houthi followers attend a gathering to receive food supplies from tribesmen in Sanaa, Yemen, 21 September (Reuters)

Yemen’s Houthi rebels said on Saturday that they had launched an attack near the border with Saudi Arabia and captured several army officers, however there was no immediate confirmation from the kingdom.

The Houthis' military spokesman said the attack, which was launched 72 hours ago, was carried out in the vicinity of the southern Saudi region of Najran and was supported by the group’s drone, missile and air defence units.

Three “enemy military brigades had fallen” in the attack and “thousands” of enemy troops were captured, including officers and soldiers of the Saudi army, as well as hundreds of armoured vehicles, the spokesman was quoted as saying by the rebel-run Al Masirah TV.

The Houthis have recently stepped up their missile and drone attacks on Saudi territories. The rebels have claimed responsibility for an assault on Saudi oil facilities on 14 September, which halved the kingdom’s oil production, but Riyadh dismissed the claim, saying the attack did not originate from Yemen.

On 20 September, the Houthis vowed to halt cross-border attacks if the Saudi-led coalition stopped its military operations in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia had given a cautious response, with its Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, saying they would judge the seriousness of the offer by the action taken by the rebels.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthi rebels seized Sanaa and ousted the internationally recognised government from the capital in late 2014.