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Humanitarian Pause Comes into Effect in Yemen

13 May 2015 10:38


A five-day humanitarian ceasefire began in Yemen, just hours after Arab coalition fighter jets struck against Houthi fighters and their allies

The truce began at 11pm local time (20:00GMT) on Tuesday evening.

The pause in the fighting, which has killed hundreds of civilians, will test the two sides’ desire to enter into peace talks.

Both the Houthis and the Arab-coalition-backed Yemeni government say they are ready to respond with violence if their opponent breaks the ceasefire.

Earlier on Tuesday, at least 69 people were killed and 250 others wounded by explosions after coalition fighter jets hit an arms depot near the Yemeni capital Sana’a, according to medical officials.

Residents said that explosions at a military base at Mount Noqum lasted until mid-day on Tuesday after coalition jets struck the depot late on Monday.

An official told the AFP news agency that most of the people killed and wounded were civilians.

Medics on the ground had given an earlier toll of five killed and 20 wounded.

The air strikes set off huge explosions that sent debris crashing into a residential area at the foot of the mountain, witnesses said.

Adel al-Jubeir, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, which is leading the Arab coalition, was quoted as saying on Monday that the truce might be extended if aid deliveries succeeded and if the Houthis and their allies did not engage in hostile activities.

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