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Kerry to discuss 'humanitarian pause' with Riyadh to help Yemen victims

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he would discuss pausing the fight in Yemen to facilitate providing aid to war victims. At least 32 people have died in the crossfire between rebels and the Saudi army in Aden.

The United States said on Wednesday it was concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen and would discuss halting the fight with Saudi officials.

"The situation is getting more dire by the day and we are concerned about that," Kerry told journalists during his visit to Djibouti. "We will be discussing the nature of the pause and how it might be implemented. I am convinced of their desire to implement the pause," he added.

He also announced $68 million aid for relief agencies working in Sanaa after they complained about fuel shortages. Employees of the UN's World Food Program also said they needed 1 million liters of fuel to carry on with their activities.

At least 32 people died in the Yemeni port of Aden as fighting raged between Shiite Houthi rebels and local supporters of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Jemen Kämpfe um Aden

80 percent of the country's population has been going hungry since the airstrikes began

"Dozens of civilians were killed in the massacre committed by the Houthi rebels and fighters loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh," Ali al-Ahmadi, spokesman for the pro-government Popular Resistance Committees said.

The shelling, blamed on Houthi rebels, hit a small fishing harbor and a barge carrying civilians, who have been leaving the port city since the violence began.

A day earlier, the

United Nations warned of a humanitarian crisis

, saying the conflict had killed at least 646 civilians, including 131 children. More than 1,364 civilians had been wounded. About 80 percent of the population, or 20 million people, were going hungry ever since

Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes to rout Houthi rebels on March 26

, the UN said.

The Shiite group, linked to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seized the assembly in capital Sanaa last year, forcing President Hadi to leave the country and seek refuge with Riyadh.

mg/bw (AFP, Reuters)

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