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Houthi violations ended truce: Yemen foreign minister

RIYADH: A Saudi-led coalition resumed airstrikes in Yemen on Monday after a five-day humanitarian ceasefire because the Houthi militia and its allies violated the truce, Yemen’s Foreign Minister Reyad Yassin Abdulla said by telephone.

The coalition is now not considering any new ceasefire offer despite a United Nations plea to extend the truce, Abdulla said, but he added that the renewed strikes would avoid Sanaa airport and Aden and Hodaida seaports to let aid get in.

UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed called for an extension of a humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen on Sunday ─which expired the same day ─ as the Houthi rebels boycotted political talks in Riyadh.

Ahmed said, “This humanitarian truce should turn into a permanent ceasefire,” while asking all parties to renew their commitment to the truce for five more days.

Although the talks were attended by about 400 delegates ─ including President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi ─ they were boycotted by the rebels, who rejected the main aim of the three day talks ─ the restoration of Yemen’s exiled president, Hadi. They were also opposed to the location of the negotiations.

Clashes on the ground between rebels and pro-government forces continued in various parts of Yemen despite the five-day humanitarian ceasefire last week, which had largely held.

Yemen’s conflict has killed more than 1,400 people ─ many of them civilians ─ since March 19, according to the United Nations.

The country of some 25 million people has endured shortages of food, water, medicine and electricity as a result of a Saudi-led blockade.

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