Yemen: 68 people killed during cease-fire and inconclusive peace talks

ADEN, Yemen, Officials said at least 68 Houthis and Yemeni troops were killed during a six-day cease-fire that came amid inconclusive peace talks between the rebels and the government of Yemen.

Houthi fighters inspect the wreckage of a car at the site of an attack near of Qubbat al-Mahdi Mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, on June 20, 2015. Yemeni military officials said at least 68 Houthis and government troops were killed during a six-day truce that coincided with peace negotiations. The talks, held in Switzerland, ended without resolution on Dec. 20, 2015. Photo by Mohammad Abdullah/UPI | License Photo
Houthi fighters inspect the wreckage of a car at the site of an attack near of Qubbat al-Mahdi Mosque in Sanaa, Yemen, on June 20, 2015. Yemeni military officials said at least 68 Houthis and government troops were killed during a six-day truce that coincided with peace negotiations. The talks, held in Switzerland, ended without resolution on Dec. 20, 2015. Photo by Mohammad Abdullah/UPI | License Photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neither side came to consensus during the negotiations in Switzerland, which began Tuesday alongside a proposed truce. By the end of both arrangements Sunday, scores of people were dead and the talks were scheduled to resume Jan. 14 at an undecided location.

Voice of America quoted Yemeni security officials on Saturday as saying 40 Houthis and at least 28 government troops were killed during recent days of fighting in the Hajjah province near the Saudi border. The government troops reportedly launched the attack from Saudi Arabia after training there for months.

The BBC quoted United Nations special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed as saying some progress was made in the talks but that the violation of the cease-fire negatively affected the outcome.

A day before the truce was set to begin, a Houthi rocket attack killed scores of pro-government forces in the Taiz province, including several private security contractors and two Saudi and Emirati military commanders.

Yemen’s civil war escalated rapidly earlier this year when the Houthis, who are associated with Shia Islam, began storming southward, seizing the capital and eventually the southern port of Aden.

Yemeni President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled for safety in Saudi Arabia but has since reportedly returned to Aden on two occasions thanks to a Saudi-led coalition of regional Sunni allies that in March launched an ongoing air and ground effort against the Houthis.

An estimated 5,700 people have been killed in Yemen since then.

By Fred Lambert

UPI NEWS