Military and medical officials say that dozens of fighters have been killed in the past 24 hours in battles outside the Yemeni capital between forces loyal to the internationally-recognized government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and Shiite rebels.

Officials say Tuesday that battles for control of the mountainous town of Sarwah, east of the capital, have intensified as pro-government forces aim to break a months-long stalemate and clear the way toward Sanaa. Rebels, known as the Houthis, seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.

They say heavy aerial bombardment on the border area of Midi, northwest of Sanaa, killed and injured dozens of fighters.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press.

The fighting follows the collapse of U.N. peace talks in August.