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Yemen fighting rages on despite declared truce

SANAA, YEMEN (AP) — Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition targeting Shiite rebels and their allies struck several Yemeni cities on Sunday, with combat raging near the strategic Bab el-Mandeb strait despite a declared truce, military and security officials said.

Some 500 troops loyal to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, along with allied militias, were pushing to take areas near the strait, the officials said. In a statement, the forces said they were operating under air cover by the Saudi-led coalition and had destroyed anti-aircraft batteries and killed dozens of rebel troops.

The officials also said a military base in the capital, Sanaa, was hit, adding that warplanes also bombed a cement factory in Amran province, wounding 10 people. Other officials who oppose the rebels, known as Houthis, said they had been storing weapons in the factory.

The security officials say strikes also hit the cities of Saada and Dhamar, while ground fighting also continued in Aden, Taiz, Dhale and Marib despite the truce that began midnight Friday.

Hospital officials say the fighting in Taiz killed six civilians and wounded about 20.

More than 3,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the airstrikes began in March. The fighting pits the Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and loyalists of Hadi, who is now based in Saudi Arabia.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief journalists.

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