Security officials in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz say Shiite rebels have intensified attacks against pro-government forces.

They say fighting has killed 14 and wounded 27, with the toll including both fighters and civilians.

The officials, who remain neutral in a conflict that has splintered security forces, said Saturday that the rebels known as Houthis aim to seize the strategic Jarrah mountain overlooking many neighborhoods in Taiz, the country's third-largest city.

The rebels controlled the city's presidential palace and a judicial compound before pro-government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition's airstrikes, gained control of much of Yemen's south in recent weeks.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief reporters.

The U.N. says the conflict in Yemen has killed more than 2,100 civilians.