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SANAA, Yemen – Military and security officials say fierce battles are ongoing between military units loyal to Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and pro-Hadi fighters against Shiite Houthi rebels and allied military units in Bab al-Mandab, the strategic southern entrance to the Red Sea.
The officials, who have remained neutral in the conflict that has splintered the country, said pro-Hadi units are backed by air support from the Saudi-led coalition and have sent reinforcements from nearby Aden.
The Houthis have been in control of the strategic area, though pro-Hadi military units gained control of several positions. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.