Saudi air force pilot dies in helicopter crash

Saudi Arabia's military blamed a "technical error" for a helicopter crash that killed a pilot during a training mission on Sunday.

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's military blamed a "technical error" for a helicopter crash that killed a pilot during a training mission on Sunday.

The air force machine went down in the Taif area, more than 800 kilometres (500 miles) from the border with Yemen.

A defence ministry statement said the pilot was on a "routine training trip".

Since March 26, a Saudi-led Arab air coalition has been bombing Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen, while also assisting local anti-rebel forces on the ground.

Coalition helicopters have joined the fight.

In late August, two pilots died when a coalition Apache gunship crashed in Saudi Arabia's Jazan district along the border.

Huthi rebels said they had shot down an Apache in the same region.

The anti-rebel forces in Yemen began a major offensive today aimed at pushing the Huthis out of Marib province and eventually moving on the capital Sanaa which the Huthis seized last year.

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