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M'sian troops not in Riyadh to join Yemen fight
Published:  May 10, 2015 2:43 PM
Updated: 3:09 PM

Malaysian troops are in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to assist in evacuation of civilians fleeing the fighting in neighbouring Yemen, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

"No – only to Riyadh for humanitarian (or) evacuation," he said on Twitter .

He was responding to a Twitter user who asked if it is true that Malaysia is sending troops to join the Saudi-led anti-Houti campaign in Yemen.

Turkish state news agency Andolu today quoted the Saudi state news agency as saying that Malaysia is the 12 th country to join the Saudi-led coalition.

The news prompted concern on social media, with netizens calling on Malaysia to stay out of what they said is an “unjust” and “unnecessary” war.

PKR vice president Tian Chua also urged Malaysia to encourage a peace in the region, instead of taking part in the aggression.

"We still have students and Malaysians in Yemen," Hishammuddin further tweeted in response to Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang.

"We have been (for) some time evacuating students," he added.

Yemen has been in turmoil since last September when Houthi forces took over the capital of Sanaa.

Saudi has led a military campaign against the Shiite group said to be close to Hezbollah since March, citing an appeal by Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi who fled to Riyadh in the same month.

A humanitarian truce was announced on Friday, and is supposed to start on Tuesday if both sides abide.

Unicef estimates that the conflict is affecting 15.9 million people, 7.9 million of which are children.

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