More than 20 Houthi rebels, including a top commander, were killed in clashes with the Yemeni army in the Al Bayda province, bordering the Sanaa governorate.
The commander of the Houthi militia in Al Bayda, known as Abu Hashim, was one of the men killed on Friday, according to Al Bayda-based journalist Mahmood Al Humaidi.
Mr Al Humaidi said that the Yemeni army took control of Naman and Al Malahem districts in Al Bayda province, adding that the forces loyal to Yemen’s president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi headed further into the province to Natea.
“There were fierce clashes in the last pocket containing the rebels in Natea district, and the army was able to advance and gain ground,” said Mr Al Humaidi. “At least 20 rebels were killed and dozens were injured.”
Meanwhile, a source said that 50 Houthi militiamen were captured in Natea, reported Yemen's news agency Saba.
"After storming the last pocket in Natea, the army advanced to Walad Rabie district, where nine rebels were killed in clashes," Ramzi Mokhtar, editor of the military-run news website 26 September, told The National.
Fierce clashes also took place in the Thamar province, about 130 kilometres south of Sanaa. The Houthi rebels clashed with local tribes in the Al Hada area.
Yemeni army fighters and the tribes, who back the internationally-recognised government of Mr Hadi, have mobilised to lead an “intifada” against the rebels in the province — considered the Houthis stronghold.
Meanwhile, in Taez province, at least four Houthis were killed as the Yemeni army advanced into Makbana district, said Tariq Al Mulaiki, a Taez-based journalist.