Saudi-led airstrikes continue ahead of truce in Yemen

May 13, 2015 5:28 am 

ADEN, Yemen, May 12 — Saudi-led coalition forces intensified air bombings against several military bases and destroyed arms depots in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Tuesday, hours before a planned five-day humanitarian truce comes into force.

The Shiite Houthi group, backed by army units, and tribal militiamen linked to Yemen's President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who have been battling over the control of several Yemeni cities for the past six weeks, have all pledged to respect the truce in order to allow badly needed humanitarian aid to reach besieged civilians inside the conflict-battered country.

However, the Saudi-led coalition launched more airstrikes and destroyed arms depots belonging to Houthi gunmen in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Tuesday morning, displacing thousands of families from the houses located in eastern Sanaa city to other parts.

On Monday evening, the Saudi-led coalition attacked a missile warehouse in Nuqom Mountain in eastern parts of Sanaa, causing a series of intensive explosions that badly damaged nearby houses and killed scores of civilians.

A senior medical official in Sanaa told Xinhua by phone that "the death toll of Monday's blasts reached 19 while more than 210 others were injured. We couldn't move to rescue others due to fuel shortages."

"The Ministry of Health still pleads with doctors and nurses to urgently go to four major hospitals in Sanaa to help injured people as much as they can," the source said.

Ahead of the ceasefire, fierce fighting continued Tuesday between Houthi gunmen and pro-Hadi militiamen in Yemen's southern port city of Aden amid escalating Saudi-led air raids on Houthi-controlled positions across the city.

Local military observers say the fighting escalated between the two warring sides in an apparent attempt to seize more sites on the ground before the start of a five-day ceasefire set to take effect at 11 p.m local time.

In Yemen's third largest city of Taiz, due to the persistent street fightings a lot of random shells landed on some residential buildings in city center, leaving at least five people dead, including three children, residents told Xinhua.

Saudi Arabia, along with eight other Arab states, have been bombing the Houthi group and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh since March 26, aiming to reinstate the government of Hadi, who was forced to flee the country. (PNA/Xinhua)



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