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Bombing resumes as Yemen cease-fire ends

Saudi-led coalition planes target Houthi positions in Aden province, Saudi officials say

Arab coalition nations have resumed air strikes against Houthi fighters as a U.N. envoy called for an extension of a a five-day humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen that expired late Sunday.

The coalition targeted Houthi positions in al-Sawlaban and al-Arish in Aden province, Saudi military officials said early on Monday. 

Al-Masirah TV, a Houthi-backed channel, reported that Saudi troops were also shelling al-Manzala district in al-Dalih near the Yemen-Saudi border, in addition to Al-Ghawr mountain.

"I call on all parties to renew their commitment to this truce for five more days at least," U.N. envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said earlier in Riyadh. "This humanitarian truce should turn into a permanent ceasefire."

Speaking in Seoul on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. continues to support the idea of a humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen, but that such a truce was difficult given the current circumstances.

The cease-fire expired at 11 p.m. but it hadn't halted all fighting in Yemen between the rebels, known as Houthis, and those opposing them. Saudi-led coalition targeted the Shiite rebels.

Sunday night, there were concentrated flyovers by aircraft likely from the coalition in Aden and Saada, though no strikes, residents said. However, flyovers had been going on throughout the cease-fire.

Earlier Sunday, hundreds of Yemeni politicians and tribal leaders began talks in Saudi Arabia on the future of their war-torn country, though the Houthis were not taking part.

The Houthis have rejected the main aim of the three-day talks — the restoration of Yemen's exiled president — and the location of the negotiations in Saudi Arabia. The absence of the Houthis means the national dialogue is unlikely to end the violence, which saw the rebels seize the capital, Sanaa, in September and ultimately force President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi into exile.

Since late March, Saudi Arabia has led airstrikes against the Houthis and allied military units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The air campaign is aimed at weakening the Houthis and restoring Hadi, who fled the country in March in the face of a rebel advance.

"This conference taking place today is in support of politics and community, and rejects the coup," Hadi told the gathering.

Yemen's conflict has killed more than 1,400 people — many of them — since March 19, according to the U.N. The country of some 25 million people has endured shortages of food, water, medicine and electricity as a result of a Saudi-led blockade. Humanitarian organizations had been scrambling to distribute aid before the end of the truce.

Al Jazeera and The Associated Press

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