Yemen Loyalists Retake Historic Port of Mokhaإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Yemeni government forces took full control of the historic Red Sea port of Mokha on Friday after weeks of deadly fighting with Shiite rebels and their allies, a spokesman said.
"We have done with the Battle of Mokha," armed forces spokesman Mohammed al-Naqib told AFP, adding that the rebels had been forced to flee the town.
Another loyalist military source confirmed that government forces were in "full control".
The rebels had put up fierce resistance in the town. Twenty-four rebels and eight loyalist troops were killed in fighting on Wednesday alone.
Mokha was once Yemen's main port serving as the export hub for coffee grown in the highlands.
But it was overtaken in the 19th century by Hodeida further north, which remains in the hands of the rebels, and the southern port of Aden, which is the headquarters of the government. The capital Sanaa is held by the rebels.
Before the government launched a major offensive on January 7, the rebels controlled virtually all of Yemen's 450 kilometre (280 miles) Red Sea coastline.
But with the support of a Saudi-led coalition the loyalists have made steady gains.
More than 400 combatants have been killed since the offensive began.