Last Updated: Wed Nov 03, 2010 13:24 pm (KSA) 10:24 am (GMT)

Saudi stops Yemen rebel offensive at border

Saudi troops repulsed Yemeni rebels trying to infiltrate into the kingdom
Saudi troops repulsed Yemeni rebels trying to infiltrate into the kingdom

Saudi forces have repulsed Yemeni rebels trying to infiltrate into the kingdom, Saudi state media said on Thursday, while fighting continued on both sides of the border.

Saudi troops pushed back the rebels, referred to as "infiltrators" by state television, from the Jaberi village and killed an unspecified number of the insurgents. The report gave no further details.

Saudi Arabia launched its assault on neighboring Yemen's rebels -- known as the Houthis -- in early November after they staged a cross-border incursion that killed two Saudi border guards.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, fears the growing instability in neighboring Yemen could turn into a major security threat for the kingdom by allowing al-Qaeda to gain a stronger foothold in the impoverished country.

The Houthis belong to the minority Shiite Zaidi sect, but the rebels and the Yemeni government deny their aims are sectarian.

In southern Yemen, where separatist sentiment has been on the rise, demonstrators marched in several towns to demand the release of those arrested in earlier protests, residents said.

Southern activists have long complained that the government and northerners exploit and discriminate against the south, which holds most of Yemen's oil facilities.

(With Agencies)

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