ADEN - Four soldiers and nine rebels were killed in southern Yemen on Wednesday, army sources said, as clashes flared in the last rebel pocket in mainly government-held Shabwa province.
The deaths came in Bayhan district as troops responded to a rebel offensive, the sources said.
Bayhan is the sole district of Shabwa still held by the rebels, who control neighbouring Baida province and most of northern Yemen.
Both provinces have also been targeted by a long-running US drone war against Al-Qaeda, which has taken advantage of the conflict between the government and the rebels to consolidate its presence.
Despite the military intervention of a Saudi-led coalition in 2015, the government's authority is still largely confined to the south and areas along the Saudi border.
More than 8,500 civilians have been killed in the conflict since the intervention began, according to World Health Organization figures.