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Medical, sanitation supplies reach Yemen's war-torn capital

| Saturday, April 11, 2015, 9:18 p.m.

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen's Houthi rebels killed three Saudi border guards in a mortar attack, the Saudi defense ministry said Saturday, as a plane loaded with medical aid arrived in the rebel-held Yemeni capital.

An unnamed military official quoted in the defense ministry statement said the incident took place Friday in the Saudi border province of Najran.

The defense ministry said its forces responded with gunfire, and 500 Houthi fighters have been killed in clashes along the border since a Saudi-led air campaign against them began late last month. Earlier this month, three Saudi border guards were killed in separate clashes with the Houthis.

A plane loaded with badly needed aid landed in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa.

Photos posted on the official Twitter account of the International Committee of the Red Cross showed aid workers unloading the supplies. The group said the shipment consists of more than 35 tons of medical aid, generators and emergency sanitation equipment.

The first such delivery to the capital since the airstrikes began more than two weeks ago landed Friday. The shipment Saturday was more than double the size of the previous one.

The Saudi-led coalition has imposed a virtual air and sea blockade on Yemen to prevent the Houthis and their allies — loyalists of former autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh — from rearming. Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran supports the Houthis, but Tehran and the rebels deny it has armed them.

Aid groups say they are struggling to cope with rising casualty numbers and shrinking food and fuel supplies. A smaller aid delivery arrived in the southern port city of Aden by boat earlier in the week.

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