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Rabid Saudi mercenaries kill 24 Yemenis in mortar attack on bazaar

18 November 2016 17:41

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At least two dozen people have lost their lives after Saudi-backed militants loyal to the former Yemeni government launched a mortar attack on a bazaar in the southwestern province of Ta’izz.

The attack occurred on Thursday in the Suftail area of Hawban District, situated to the northeast of Ta’izz City, the provincial capital, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network cited local health officials as saying.

Some 27 others were also injured as the projectiles hit the densely-populated bazaar.

Saudi Arabia has been a waging a destructive military campaign against Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to restore Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close Riyadh ally, to power.

Riyadh’s military has also been providing air cover to its mercenaries operating on the ground against Yemeni army forces and allied Houthi fighters.

Saudi, pro-Hadi militants trifling with truce

The Thursday bloodshed flew in the face of a ceasefire announced by the US, which was to take effect on Thursday.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has been defending Yemen against the war, and the Hadi side had agreed to a cessation of hostilities starting on November 17.

Kerry also said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is assisting Riyadh in its war on Yemen, “have both agreed to try to move forward with this. They believe it makes sense.”

Later in the day, Ansarullah expressed readiness to end fighting and join a national unity government in the conflict-ridden country.

However, the former Yemeni government said it was not aware of such a peace initiative

The Hadi side “is not aware of the statements made by Mr. Kerry and does not consider itself committed to them,” said Yemen’s former foreign minister, Abdel Malek al-Mekhlafi said.

Mekhlafi was also quoted in media as saying that Kerry’s announcement had not been coordinated with the former Yemeni administration.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Saudi military, Major General Ahmed Assiri, also said “until now there is no demand” from the Hadi side to observe the US-announced truce.

Reports also said on Friday that Saudi warplanes had violated the ceasefire on three occasions, targeting the Baqim District of Sa’ada Province in northwestern Yemen.

The Saudi military is accused of recurrently violating previous truces.

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