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Two-day ceasefire expires in Yemen

A 48-hour-long truce to halt the ongoing violence in Yemen has been suspended after rebel Houthis and the government accused each other of violations. Over 7,000 people have been killed in the conflict until now.

Ahmed Assiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition, said on Monday that the temporary ceasefire was over and would not be extended. "At the military level, for the moment, we have no orders to extend the ceasefire. It's over," he said.

Shiite Houthi rebels had committed more than 500 breaches of the truce since it took effect and that 80 percent had taken place inside Yemen, Assiri told al Arabiya TV. He said the breaches were made shortly after the ceasefire began at 12 noon (0900 GMT) on Saturday and included 113 violations in Najran and Jizan, on Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia.

"There is no respect [for the truce], only violations," he told AFP news agency. "There have been more people killed in Taez and more attacks with surface-to-surface missiles, so automatically the conditions are not there," Assiri said, referring to Yemen's south western city (pictured above.)

Rebels accuse Hadi's army

The Shiite Houthi rebels also accused the Saudi-backed forces of committing 114 violations since the 48-hour truce began. Just before the announcement of the truce, Saudi jets bombed a military site in the capital Sanaa, which is under Houthi control.

A spokesman for rebel troops, Sharaf Loqman, told the Houthi-backed Saba news agency that violations included rocket attacks and shellings on border towns. Forces also conducted intense raids on civilians, Loqman said.

Yemen has been in a state of conflict since 2014, when Houthi rebels took over the capital Sanaa, forcing President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee to the southern city of Aden and then to Riyadh. The war intensified in March 2015, when Saudi Arabia-led coalition airplanes started bombing Houthi-held territories.

At least 7,000 people have died in the conflict until now. Around 37,000 have been injured. According to the UN children's agency UNICEF, nearly 3 million people are in urgent need of food and 1.5 million are suffering from malnutrition.

mg/kl (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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