People gather at the site of an air strike in Yareem city of Yemen's central province of Ibb March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer
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Saudi troops clashed with Yemeni Houthis Tuesday in the heaviest exchange of cross-border fire since the start of a Saudi-led air offensive last week, while Yemen's foreign minister called for a rapid Arab intervention on the ground.Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of Arab states since last Thursday in an air campaign against the Houthis, who emerged as the most powerful force in the Arabian Peninsula's poorest country when they seized Yemen's capital last year. The Houthis are allied with Saudi Arabia's regional foe Iran, and backed by army units loyal to longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was pushed out three years ago after "Arab Spring" demonstrations.In the southern port of Aden, Houthi fighters and allied army units pressed an offensive against forces loyal to Hadi, trying to capture the last remaining major stronghold of the absent president's forces.Hadi's rump government, now based in Saudi Arabia, called for Riyadh to escalate the air war into an invasion.Pakistan has also said it is sending troops to support Saudi Arabia.
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