Yemeni security officials say rebels have attacked pro-government forces for the second consecutive day after weeks of retreating.

Qayed Nasser, a spokesman for the anti-rebel forces in the Lahj province, said Wednesday that the rebel attack on the Labouza military base was repelled.

Independent security officials and witnesses meanwhile said anti-rebel fighters have failed to push the rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies out of the Aqaba Tharaa area, which they took control of a day earlier in a similar attack. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh are fighting against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and troops loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.