More than 20 dead in heavy clashes in Ye­men

Elim­i­nat­ing hope for abid­ing by a truce

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

ADEN: More than 20 peo­ple have been killed in in­tense fight­ing be­tween rebels and loy­al­ists on the out­skirts of Ye­men’s third city Taez, mil­i­tary and med­i­cal sources said yes­ter­day.

The clashes have elim­i­nated hope of the war­ring par­ties abid­ing by a truce an­nounced by US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry that was to have taken ef­fect on Thurs­day. Loy­al­ist mil­i­tary sources told AFP that 13 rebels and eight pro­gov­ern­ment forces were killed over the past 24 hours, while the rebels re­ported dozens of ca­su­al­ties in shelling of a lo­cal mar­ket.

Two civil­ians were also killed and 16 wounded as rebels fired Katyusha rock­ets on a res­i­den­tial area of Taez, they said. For its part, rebel-con­trolled sa­ web­site re­ported that pro-gov­ern­ment forces fired ar­tillery rounds into ar­eas east of the city.

Rocket crash in mar­ket

A rocket crashed into a mar­ket sell­ing the mild nar­cotic leaf qat, pop­u­lar among Ye­me­nis, leav­ing 40 ca­su­al­ties, said sa­, with­out giv­ing a break­down of dead and wounded. The med­i­cal char­ity Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders (MSF) said emer­gency rooms it sup­ports or man­ages in Taez province had re­ceived a to­tal of 21 dead and 76 wounded.

Among those killed was a watch­man who works at the MSF trauma cen­tre in Taez. He was killed while “off duty when a blast hit a lo­cal mar­ket in the neigh­bor­hood”, said Djoen Bes­selink, who heads the MSF mis­sion in Ye­men. “Fight­ing has been in­ten­sive in Taez dur­ing re­cent days, and hospi­tals on both sides of the front­line have re­ceived a con­tin­u­ous in­flux of war-wounded civil­ians and fight­ers,” MSF said.

Pro-gov­ern­ment forces are press­ing on with a four-day-old of­fen­sive to re­cap­ture the pres­i­den­tial res­i­dence and po­lice head­quar­ters in the south­west­ern city, while the Shi­ite Huthi rebels have brought in re­in­force­ments.

The fight­ing con­tin­ued de­spite Kerry’s an­nounce­ment of a new cease­fire. The US chief diplo­mat said on Tues­day that rebels were ready to ob­serve a cease­fire plan tak­ing ef­fect from Novem­ber 17, but Pres­i­dent Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s gov­ern­ment said it was not aware of any new peace ini­tia­tive.

SIIRT, Turkey: A wo­man waits as res­cue work­ers search­ing for trapped min­ers yes­ter­day at the ac­ci­dent site in Siirt. Turk­ish res­cue work­ers were yes­ter­day bat­tling to save 13 min­ers trapped af­ter the col­lapse of a cop­per mine al­ready con­firmed to have left at least three dead. The gov­er­nor’s of­fice in the south­east­ern Siirt province where the mine is lo­cated said two of three bod­ies re­cov­ered af­ter the ac­ci­dent late Thurs­day had al­ready been iden­ti­fied.

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