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UN Envoy: Truce Reached in Yemen

  • VOA News

People gather near a car damaged by a mortar shell during fighting between Shi'ite Houthi militants and government forces in Sanaa September 19, 2014.

People gather near a car damaged by a mortar shell during fighting between Shi'ite Houthi militants and government forces in Sanaa September 19, 2014.

A United Nations envoy says Yemen's government has reached an agreement to end fighting with Shi'ite Houthi rebels that has intensified in recent days.

The special advisor to the U.N. Secretary-General on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, said Saturday that the deal will "lay the foundation for national partnership and for security and stability." He said the agreement was reached following intense consultations with all parties to resolve the crisis.

Benomar spoke shortly after a government security council imposed a curfew on parts of the capital, Sana'a, where Houthi rebels said they had taken over the state television building. Witnesses said parts of the building were on fire and employees said people were trapped inside and wounded.

A day earlier, more than 40 people were killed in clashes as rebel gunmen took control of police and military patrol points in Sana'a. Also, on Friday, international airlines suspended flights into the city.

The fighting is the most recent in a series of low-level clashes between Yemen's army and the Houthi rebels, which belong to the Zaidi Shi'ite sect.

The Houthis have led a campaign calling for the replacement of the government and economic reforms. Yemen's Sunni majority government has accused them of being a proxy for Iran, blaming the mainly Shi'ite nation for sparking the unrest.

Some information for this report comes from AFP and Reuters.

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