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Ceasefire violations deepen uncertainty of peace process in Yemen

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-10-21 15:43

Ceasefire violations deepen uncertainty of peace process in Yemen

A homeless family eats lunch along a street in Sanaa, Yemen, October 20, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

SANAA -- Yemen's dominant Shiite Houthi group traded accusations with Saudi Arabia on Friday over breaching a ceasefire mediated by the United Nations, deepening the uncertainty of the peace process in the country.

The UN-brokered 72-hour ceasefire, meant to last for three days, came into effect on Wednesday midnight.

According to a statement released by Houthi-run media, a Thursday night air strike by the Saudi-led coalition killed three civilians in the northern province of Saada.

The coalition accused the Houthis of firing rockets on the southern Saudi cities of Jazan and Najran, killing two civilians, according to a statement by Saudi official media.

Meanwhile, Saudi-backed Yemeni government of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi said its troops in the Yemeni central province of Marib shot down three missiles fired by Houthis late on Thursday.

The ceasefire is aimed at facilitating humanitarian aid supplies to the war-stricken cities.

UN officials hoped the truce would be extended to pave the way for resuming stalled peace talks and to end the war.

Previous attempts to cease fire between warring parties in Yemen had hardly been observed, with all sides involved in the conflict trading accusations of violating the truce.

Ceasefires backed by the UN are frequently interrupted.

On March. 23, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, special envoy of the UN secretary-general for Yemen, announced that a nationwide ceasefire in Yemen was scheduled to begin in April, and peace talks scheduled to begin in Kuwait.

However, the Houthis accused Saudi-led coalition warplanes of killing seven Houthi followers in the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on May 8, which triggered the Houthi and Saleh delegations to walk out of the talks in protest.

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