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Houthi-run court sentences 16 to death for 'spying for Saudi'

A court controlled by Yemen's Houthi rebels in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah has sentenced 16 men to death for allegedly "spying for Saudi Arabia".

In a report, the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV however, did not identify the defendants, but said that they are Yemenis and the court convicted them for espionage that led to the killing of top rebel leader Saleh al-Sammad in April 2018 by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Hodeidah, reports Xinhua news agency.

There was no comment yet from the coalition-backed Yemeni government.

The ruling was the latest in a series of closed-door trials of political opponents held by the Houthis.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country's north and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict in March 2015 to support Hadi's government.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced over 3 million and pushed more than 20 million to the brink of famine..