Saudi-led coalition declares 48-hour-ceasefire in Yemen
CAIRO - The Saudi-led military coalition declared a 48-hour ceasefire in Yemen on Saturday, on the condition that Shiite rebels abide by it and allow humanitarian assistance into besieged cities, particularly the city of Taiz.
However, minutes after it went into effect, activists in Taiz said that rebel shelling continued in the city while a rebel-affiliated military spokesman said that there was no halt of fighting.
Col. Sharaf Loqman, a military spokesman, told The Associated Press that the fighting hasn't stopped at any of the front-lines. He said that the rebels support a full cessation of hostilities, but that the reality at the moment is, "all parties are engaged in fighting."
The Saudi news agency SPA carried a statement from the coalition that said the truce would take effect at 12 p.m. Yemeni time on Saturday and that it could be renewed. The coalition warned the rebels, known as Houthis, against any sort of military movement.
The ceasefire comes at a time that forces loyal to the Saudi-backed, internationally-recognized government have made advances in Taiz, which has been besieged by the rebels for the past year.