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Thousands besieged in Yemen's Hodeida as Saudi coalition seizes airport Open in fullscreen

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Thousands besieged in Yemen's Hodeida as Saudi coalition seizes airport

A Saudi-led coalition began its assault on Hodeida on Wednesday. [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 June, 2018

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Thousands of residents in Yemen's Hodeida are under siege after Saudi-led forces seized the airport in the rebel-held port city.

Thousands of residents in Yemen's Hodeida are under siege after Saudi-led forces seized the airport in the rebel-held port city.

Earlier this week, the Saudi-led coalition began its assault on Hodeida, the main entry for food into a country already on the brink of famine.

Yemeni officials say Saudi-led forces seized the airport in the port city on Saturday.

The military loyal to Yemen's exiled government issued a statement on Saturday morning saying that engineers now were trying to remove mines left by Houthi rebels.

The Houthis did not immediately acknowledge losing the airport.

Human rights groups and relief workers in Yemen say areas adjacent to the airport in Hodeida are under siege and thousands of people are unable to leave as roads are shut down amid intense fighting.

Saber Wasel, a relief worker in Hodeida, told The Associated Press early Saturday: "Families are trapped inside and there is difficulty leaving as they are coming under airstrikes and bombardment by both parties of the war."

He said that at least 70 families tried to leave the area of al-Mandhar at night.

Eshraq al-Maqtari, a member of the National Council of Human Rights, said on her Twitter account that the entire population of Mandhar, around 3,000 people, are besieged.

The United Nations says hundreds of people have fled Hodeida since Wednesday, when a Saudi-led coalition began an assault to take over the vital Red Sea port town.

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