RIYADH — A landmine blast on the Saudi-Yemen border has claimed the life of a senior Saudi officer, the coalition carrying out air strikes on rebels in Yemen said on Thursday.

Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah al-Balwi died Wednesday "as a result of the explosion of a landmine in Twalig mountain" in the Saudi border district of Jazan, the Saudi-led coalition said.

The blast occurred during a "combing" operation, it said, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

At least 39 people, civilians and troops, have now lost their lives in shelling and border skirmishes since March 26 when the coalition began bombing Iranian-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen, attempting to halt their expansion.

More than 2,600 people have died in Yemen itself, where rebels and pro-government forces have been fighting for months.

The Saudi officer died on the fourth day of stalled UN-brokered negotiations in Geneva between Yemen's warring sides.

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