UN's humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths condemns "dangerous" accusations by Ethiopia that aid workers were biased in favour of and even arming rebel forces in war-hit Tigray.
The Houthis have been attempting since February to capture oil-rich Marib to consolidate their control over the northern part of war-torn Yemen.
Sources with the internationally recognised government say that 16 soldiers from their ranks were killed, including six officers.
At least 17 Yemenis were killed after a ballistic missile fired by the Houthi rebels hit a gas station in the Rawdha neighbourhood in the central city of Marib.
The attack comes a day after several drones attacked the Abha international airport in Saudi Arabia's southwest, prompting Washington to call for an end to Houthi aggression.
Fighting erupted a day after UN envoy Martin Griffiths told the security council warring sides made "significant progress" in agreeing on a ceasefire amid a burgeoning Covid-19 outbreak.
The Yemeni people cannot afford another setback to peace.
"[Mohammed] Bin Salman's optimism about stopping the war is positive," says Mohamed Ali al Houthi, a member of the group's political council, a day after Saudi crown prince voiced hope for reaching a political solution to conflict.
Earlier, the rebels announced they would release 350 prisoners, including three Saudi Arabians, under UN's supervision as part of peace initiative.
Up to 60 percent of beneficiaries at seven centres in Sanaa "confirmed they had not received any assistance" and 33 percent of respondents in the rebels' northern stronghold of Saada received no food in April, says head of the UN food agency.
Iran is likely to use the Houthis to give Saudi Arabia and by extension the US, a bloody nose - ruining any chance for peace in the process.
Negotiations in Jordan will attempt to verify names of about 15,000 prisoners to be exchanged by both sides, some of whom include Saudis and other nationals fighting on the Aden government's side.
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