ADEN, Yemen, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Forces loyal to Yemen's government on Wednesday accused the Houthi rebels of kidnapping and executing three soldiers in the country's southern province of Dhalea.
"The Houthi rebels executed three members of the national army forces after kidnapping them from their residential neighborhood in Damt district in north of Dhalea province," said Yemeni Defence Ministry's official website.
The pro-government ministry stated that "the Houthi militia opened a barrage of bullets from their assault rifles and executed the kidnapped soldiers in the area."
It indicated that "pro-government soldiers are frequently targeted by the Houthi militia and no information is available about the fate of two other kidnapped soldiers till the moment."
The Houthi rebels who are controlling key areas in Dhalea's northern part made no comments on the government's statement.
Last year, the Iran-allied Houthi fighters launched a series of intense armed attacks on the positions of the Yemeni government forces and succeeded in seizing key villages on the outskirts of Dhalea.
The areas in the north and west of Dhalea have been witnessing non-stop fighting between government forces and Houthi fighters for about five years.
Yemen has been plagued by a civil war since late 2014 when Houthi militias forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile. Enditem