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A Houthi rebel leader in north Yemen may have suffered critical injuries during an airstrike by Yemeni national forces, the government said.

The Yemeni Defense Ministry on its Web site last weekend referenced mounting claims that Abdul Malik al-Houthi was either dead or critically wounded in a recent air attack.

Iran’s al-Alam news station report Monday that a rebel spokesman denied the claims, though the Defense Ministry said he died and was buried in north Yemen, Voice of America reports.

The government in August launched a major military operation against Houthi rebels in the north of the country. Aid groups complained the government operation created a humanitarian disaster for the thousands of families displaced by the conflict. UPI

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