SANAA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- A Yemeni army commander was killed on Thursday in a battle against Houthi rebels in the northwestern province of Hajjah, pro-government media Almasdar Online reported.
Ahmed Abu Hadi, commander of the First Division of the Yemeni Special Forces Brigade, was killed along with dozens of soldiers in the early morning when the government troops attempted to repel an attack by the Houthi rebels in the east of Harad district near the southern border of Saudi Arabia.
The government troops managed to repel the hours-long attack, which also led to the injury of dozens of soldiers.
Meanwhile, the Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for killing Abu Hadi, another Yemeni military officer, according to a statement carried by the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency.
Harad, a small district located about 6 km south of the Saudi border province of Jizan, is in the control of the Yemeni government troops backed by the Saudi-led coalition forces.
The Special Forces Brigade is one of the Yemeni brigades re-established in 2015 near the Saudi southern borders with the task of advancing toward the northern rebel-held provinces of Hajjah, Saada and Jawf.
Thursday's deadly attack was the latest by the rebels against the government troops.
On Jan. 10, the Houthi rebels launched a deadly drone attack on the Yemeni government military parade in the southern province of Lahj, killed six senior military leaders including the military intelligence chief Mohammed Tammah and the deputy chief of staff Saleh Zindani.
Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels forced him into exile and seized much of the country's north, including the capital Sanaa.