Yemen shelling kills another Saudi border guard

Cross-border shelling from Yemen into Saudi Arabia has claimed the lives of five members of the security forces and three civilians in four days (AFP Photo/Abdullah al-Qadry) (AFP)

Riyadh (AFP) - Shelling from Yemen has killed another Saudi border guard, the interior ministry said, the eighth death from Yemeni firing into the kingdom in just three days.

The latest bombardment hit security posts in Saudi Arabia's Jazan district at about midday on Monday, the ministry said.

Cross-border shelling from Yemen has claimed the lives of five members of the security forces and three civilians in the kingdom since Saturday.

The border attacks could be in retaliation for a coalition air strike on Sunday that targeted "a meeting of leaders" from the Shiite Huthi rebels in their stronghold of Saada, said Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition which began a military intervention against the rebels and their allies in March.

"I think yesterday it was related to what happened, in Yemen," Assiri told AFP. "We targeted a headquarters where they were meeting."

He could not confirm reports that the strike killed the brother of rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi.

The latest deaths bring to more than 80 the number of people killed in the Saudi border zone since coalition operations began.

Most of the casualties have been soldiers.

In late October, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir indicated that coalition military operations in Yemen appeared to be nearing an end.

The kingdom voiced optimism that United Nations-led peace talks would begin, after previous attempts at negotiations stalled.

In early November the UN's special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, told AFP he was "very optimistic" negotiations would start by the middle of that month.

But fighting has continued inside Yemen, as well as in the border zone, with the coalition backing Yemeni anti-rebel forces in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The United Nations says more than 5,700 people have been killed in Yemen since March, nearly half of them civilians.