ADEN, Yemen, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Forces loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni government fought off a large armed attack launched by the Houthi rebels against areas in the southern province of al-Dhalea on Thursday, a military official told Xinhua.
Scores of the Houthi rebels launched a wide-scale attack against the government lines in Qataba district in the northern parts of al-Dhalea province, triggering hours of intense fighting in the area, the local military source said on condition of anonymity.
"The Houthis carried out heavy mortar shelling on government-controlled military sites in Qataba during the early hours of the day," the source said.
He added that "another group of Houthi fighters attempted to infiltrate and attack government-controlled sites from a different direction at the same time."
Pro-government forces were vigilant and managed to thwart the Houthi offensive following hours of intense fighting that left casualties from both warring sides, the source said.
A medical source confirmed to Xinhua that six pro-government soldiers were killed and about eight others were injured including a high military commander during Thursday's fighting.
Houthis lost 10 of their fighters during the same fighting raging on the outskirts of the government-controlled province of al-Dhalea, the medical source said on condition of anonymity.
Both warring sides continued to mobilize large numbers of fighters to the frontlines in al-Dhalea amid non-stop armed confrontations taking place since weeks in the southern region.
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-Dhalea.
The areas in the north and west of the government-controlled province of al-Dhalea have been witnessing continuous fighting between government forces and Houthi fighters for 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.