July 12, 2015 / 11:24 AM / 2 years ago

Fighting, air strikes kill at least 45 in Yemen despite truce

SANAA (Reuters) - Fighting near the southern Yemeni city of Aden killed 35 people on Sunday, the exiled government said, in breach of a temporary humanitarian truce brokered by the United Nations.

Yemeni army officers and troops perform prayers during the funeral procession of troops killed by Saudi-led air strike on an army base that was hit in error, in al-Abr on the border with Saudi Arabia July 11, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

A week-long pause in the fighting was meant to have started on Saturday to allow aid deliveries to the country’s 21 million people, who have endured more than three months of bombing and civil war, but there was no sign of any abatement.

At least 10 people were also killed in air strikes overnight into Sunday across Yemen, relatives and medical sources said.

A coalition of Arab states has been bombarding the Iranian-allied Houthi rebel movement - Yemen’s dominant force - since late March in a bid to reinstate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh.

The coalition, in coordination with forces loyal to Hadi, on Sunday captured Ras Amran, a suburb west of Aden, from Houthi fighters following heavy fighting, the Yemeni government said.

Thirty Houthi fighters and five on the coalition side were killed, it said in a statement.

A Reuters witness said air strikes on the Yemeni capital Sanaa had resumed on Sunday morning.

Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Asiri, the spokesman of the coalition, was reported by al Sharq al Awsat newspaper as saying there would be no truce because Houthis were not committed to a ceasefire and no U.N. observers had been deployed on the ground to monitor possible violations.

In a separate incident, Houthi fighters and allied units in Yemen’s factionalized army attacked a water storage tank that provides water to the central Aden neighborhood of Crater, residents said, without elaborating.

On Saturday evening, a family of eight traveling in several vehicles were killed in an air strike in the central province of al-Baida and two other civilians were killed in the southern city of Taiz.

The Houthi-run Saba news agency said 12 people, including two children, had been killed in the latest Saudi-led air strikes across the country. Saba said the air strikes had also hit clinics linked to the military hospital in Sanaa as well as trucks carrying food supplies in southern Aden.

The Arab coalition said on Saturday the Yemeni government in exile had not asked it to observe the truce. But the U.N. Secretary-General’s office said beforehand that Hadi had “communicated his acceptance of the pause to the coalition to ensure their support”.

Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Rania El Gamal, Hadeel al Sayegh and William Maclean; Editing by Digby Lidstone and Gareth Jones

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