Yemen's anti-rebel fighters say they have taken over the capital of the southern Shabwah province, as officials with the Iran-allied rebels confirm they withdrew from the town after coming under attack.

Security officials fighting the rebels known as Houthis say Saturday they are consolidating their control over the province after taking over the capital, Ataq. The officials say the Saudi-led coalition also fighting the Houthis has been sending them heavy ground weaponry at a Shabwah sea port over the past four days.

The fighting in Yemen pits the Houthis and allied troops against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and loyalists of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

All officials spoke under condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to reporters.