At least 10 soldiers were killed in renewed fighting in Yemen, military sources told AFP, despite diplomatic efforts to halt the long-running war in the Arab world’s poorest country. The clashes took place in oil-producing Marib province, one of the main battlegrounds and the scene of sporadic fighting even during a lull in hostilities over the past year. Iran-backed Huthi rebels attacked a mountainous area and have been engaged in a build-up of forces in the region, two military sources told AFP. “The Huthis launched an attack on hills overlooking Harib district, south of Marib, and made progress on that front, causing the displacement of dozens of families,” one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “At least 10 soldiers were killed, in addition to an unknown number of attackers,” the source added. The details of the clash were confirmed by a second military official. The fighting comes a month after at least four soldiers were killed in the same district, and dents new optimism after Saudi Arabia and Iran, who back opposing sides in what amounts to a proxy war, agreed to restore diplomatic ties. Analyst Maged Al-Madhaji, commenting on the latest fighting, said “the Huthis are interested in sending a clear political message that … the Tehran-Riyadh deal does not mean” the rebels will just surrender. “The Huthis lean more towards the option of a military confrontation than current negotiations,” said Al-Madhaji, the co-founder of the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies think tank.