RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabian forces have taken control of a mountain straddling the border with Yemen and cleared it of Shiite rebels, in five days of fighting that saw three soldiers killed and 15 wounded, the assistant defense minister said on Sunday.
Prince Khaled bin Sultan said another four soldiers were missing and that Saudi troops were still dealing with rebel infiltrators in other spots along the frontier. Bin Sultan said Saudi forces had not entered northern Yemen nor commented on rebel casualties.
"We are dealing with infiltrators and gangs. All that they seized, including Dokhan mountain, are now under our control, although there is infiltration in some locations," bin Sultan was quoted as telling reporters after visiting the region.
Saudi warplanes and artillery last week bombarded a Shiite rebel stronghold in northern Yemen for three straight days, according to the rebel fighters.
The sporadic five-year conflict between Yemen's weak central government and rebels in the north of the impoverished country escalated dramatically last week when Saudi military forces began shelling and bombing rebel positions.
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