ADEN, Yemen, May 2 (Xinhua) -- A total of 12 people were killed and nearly dozens of others injured on Thursday during fierce fightings between Yemen's government forces and the Houthi rebels in the southern province of al-Dhale, a military official told Xinhua.
The military source said on condition of anonymity that fierce fightings took place in several areas on the outskirts of Qataba district west of al-Dhale province, leaving 12 killed from both warring sides.
The source confirmed that the fighting resulted in killing of nine fighters of the Houthi group and three of the government forces, while dozens were wounded from both sides.
According to the source, Assaf Mussad, commander of the fourth military police battalion in al-Dhale province, was among the killed of the government forces.
Warplanes of the Saudi-led Arab coalition launched several airstrikes to support the government forces in Qataba and precisely targeted Houthi-held positions in the area, said the military source.
Local residents told Xinhua that fierce armed confrontations were still taking place in Qataba as both sides use heavy weapons in an attempt to seize control over the key district.
Over the past weeks, the Houthi rebels continued to achieve rapid military progress into Yemen's southern provinces following fierce battles with the Saudi-backed government forces.
Last month, scores of Houthi fighters launched a series of intense armed attacks on the positions of government forces and succeeded in seizing the district of Al Husha in the west of al-Dhale.
The areas in the north and west of the government-controlled province of al-Dhale have been witnessing continuous fighting between government forces and Houthi fighters for nearly four years.
Yemen has been plagued by a civil war since late 2014 after Houthi rebels revolted and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.