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Moroccan Warplane Downed in Yemen Ahead of Cease-Fire

  • VOA News

Smoke billows following an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting an arms depot in the Mount Noqum area on the eastern outskirts of Sana'a, Yemen, May 11, 2015.

Smoke billows following an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting an arms depot in the Mount Noqum area on the eastern outskirts of Sana'a, Yemen, May 11, 2015.

Yemen's Houthi rebels say they have shot down a Moroccan F-16 warplane taking part in the Saudi-led air campaign targeting them, ahead of a humanitarian cease-fire due to go into effect on Tuesday.

Morocco's military said the jet was last seen Sunday evening and that a pilot from another jet in the same squadron did not see the pilot eject.

The Houthi-run news channel says the plane was shot down by anti-aircraft guns in Saada province, near the Saudi border. Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition have continued to bomb targets in Saada, as well as Taiz in southwestern Yemen and the oil-producing Marib province in the east.

On Monday evening, Saudi warplanes targeted a rebel arms depot in the capital, Sana'a, setting off a large explosion.

In fighting along the border, Houthi rebels fired missiles into the Saudi cities of Jazan and Najran, hitting a school and a house. Saudi civil defense officials said the attack killed a Pakistani expatriate and injured four other people.

Saudi and U.S. officials announced the humanitarian pause proposal last week to allow badly needed food, fuel and medicine to reach civilians in Yemen. The Houthis said Sunday they had accepted the pause, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

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