Houthi attacks kill 12 civilians in Taiz city of Yemen

12 civilians killed and 51 wounded by Houthi rebels’ attacks in the Taiz city of Yemen

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Houthi fighters’ attacks killed 12 civilians in Yemen's southern city of Taiz on the last day of humanitarian ceasefire between Iran-backed Houthis and Saudi Arabia, Reuters has reported.

51 civilians were also wounded by shells launched by Houthi rebel fighters in the city's Hawd Al Ashraf and Shamasi districts on Saturday, Government officials said. 

26 fighters loyal to the Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and 14 loyalists of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi were also killed.

Meanwhile, in the southern province of Ad-Dali', five Houthis were killed overnight when their convoy was ambushed. In the coastal city of Aden, heavy artillery, including tank shells, fell on the city's northern sector and west.

UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed said he was "very worried about violations of the truce", urging all sides to "strictly respect a cessation of military operations to allow the flow of desperately needed aid”.

Backed by Iran, the Houthis took control of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in September through an armed uprising, causing the Yemeni government to flee to Aden after the group attempted to disband it in January.

Houthi forces began a military campaign to take Aden in April, forcing the government to flee the country to neighbouring ally Saudi Arabia where it has set up office in the capital, Riyadh. 

The Saudi-led 12-country coalition began air strikes in Yemen against the Houthis in response to appeals from Hadi to “save Yemen” from Houthi aggression last March. The coalition has been conducting the air strikes on a daily basis.   

Saudi-proposed a five-day cease-fire that started late on Tuesday. The cease-fire was announced after a visit by US secretary of state John Kerry to Riyadh to meet with Saudi king Salman.

The coalition accuses the Iran-backed rebels of violating the ceasefire for the second day in a row by carrying out military operations, including shelling Saudi troops in the border zone and targeting citizens' homes, according to a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

A Saudi-led coalition spokesperson warned that the five-day humanitarian truce may not last long, due to allegedly frequent breaching of the agreement by the Houthis.