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Sides in Yemen Trade Blame Over Truce Breaches

  • Edward Yeranian

FILE - Shi'ite rebels, known as Houthis, stand guard in front of Yemen's Defense Ministry building in Sanaa, Yemen on June 10, 2015, after it was damaged by Saudi-led airstrikes.

FILE - Shi'ite rebels, known as Houthis, stand guard in front of Yemen's Defense Ministry building in Sanaa, Yemen on June 10, 2015, after it was damaged by Saudi-led airstrikes.

Yemen's Houthi rebels and the internationally-recognized government of President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi are accusing each other of violating a U.N.-sponsored humanitarian truce.

The Saudi-led coalition says it is not bound by the cease-fire that went into effect on Friday. Houthi media report coalition airstrikes hit a military hospital in the capital, Sana'a, a conference center near the city and homes of Houthi leaders in Saada and Amran.

A Houthi-appointed health official told journalists in Sana'a the humanitarian situation is catastrophic. He said international aid groups believe 15 million Yemenis are suffering from hunger and millions of children face the danger of contracting measles and diarrhea.

Another pro-Houthi official told a press conference there is widespread damage in the Houthi stronghold of Saada. He said 30 to 40 people, mostly teenagers, were killed at a market in Amran. VOA could not independently confirm the claim.

Saudi-owned al Arabiya TV, reported Houthis had shelled civilian areas of the southern port city of Aden.

Saudi military spokesman General Ahmed Assiri said the Houthis need to inform the United Nations they formally accept the cease-fire and its terms, before it can be effective.

He said it is clear the Houthis are breaching the cease-fire and the Yemeni government (in exile) has informed the United Nations the Houthis need to offer good-will gestures to indicate they are conforming to the cease-fire.

In related developments, Arab media reported that Khaled Bahah, vice president of Yemen's Saudi-based, internationally-recognized government, was meeting to discuss the ongoing conflict with top Egyptian officials Sunday in Cairo.

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