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Yemen's prime minister visits Bab al-Mandab straight, rebels pushed out of surrounding area


SANAA, Yemen — Yemen's government spokesman says the prime minister has visited an area leading to the Bab al-Mandab straight, the strategic gateway to the Red Sea's Suez Canal, after anti-rebel forces pushed Shiite rebels out of the immediate area.

Rajeh Badi says Prime Minister Khaled Bahah's visit Saturday comes amid continuing clashes with rebels, known as Houthis, who have been in control of the area near the straight.

Military officials from the anti-rebel forces say their fighters advanced with air and naval support from a Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Houthi positions.

Security officials close to the pro-government forces and medical officials say 55 pro-government fighters were killed in the battle that began Thursday.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

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