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Saudi claims victory in war with Yemen's Houthis.

Summary: Saudi Arabia claimed victory in a conflict with Yemen's Houthi rebels, saying the kingdom's army was successful in driving away the last infiltrators from its territory, press reports said

Saudi Arabia claimed victory in a conflict with Yemen's Houthi rebels, saying the kingdom's army was successful in driving away the last infiltrators from its territory, press reports said on Saturday.

King Abdullah told the Arabic language daily Kuwaiti newspaper al-Seyassah that his instructions to Saudi forces were "clear," demanding operations were confined to Saudi territory without entering Yemen. Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday the conflict was nearing an end, with at least 73 of its troops killed in fighting against Yemeni rebels since November.

King Abdullah told al-Seyassah that his orders to the army were to "only drive away infiltrators and preserve the security and borders" of the kingdom.

"We are not a nation that interferes in other countries' affairs and do not accept other countries to interfere in ours," he said.

In November, Saudi Arabia launched a military offensive against Yemen's Shiite rebels, known as Houthis after their leader's clan name, after a rebel cross-border incursion.

There are international fears that al-Qaeda is trying to use Yemen, where the Houthis are fighting government forces, as a launch pad for attacks in the region.

The Houthis belong to the minority Shiite Zaidis, and complain of social, economic and religious marginalization, but both rebels and the Yemeni government deny their aims are sectarian.

(With Agencies)

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Publication:Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Dec 25, 2009
Words:253
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