Khaled Abdullah / Reuters

Saudi-led coalition announces temporary cease-fire in Yemen

Bombing campaign to be paused for five days in order to allow aid groups to deliver vital supplies to civilians

Saudi-led coalition forces on Saturday announced a five-day humanitarian cease-fire in their military campaign against Houthi fighters in Yemen, according to Saudi state news agency SPA.

The suspension of airstrikes — which will take effect at 11:59 p.m. local time on Sunday — will allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to the war-torn Gulf country, SPA said.

The coalition has been bombing Houthi fighters and army forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh since March 26, aiming to push them back from southern and central areas and reinstate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has fled to Saudi Arabia.

Months of fighting have resulted in a humanitarian crisis and the destruction of vital infrastructure in Yemen. More than 3,200 Yemenis have been killed since the fighting began, and an estimated 13 million people are in dire need of food and aid.

The Saudi statement warned that coalition forces would respond to any violation of the cease-fire by the Houthis. A previous cease-fire agreement in July — which the U.N. hoped would allow the delivery of humanitarian aid — failed to take hold.

Earlier on Saturday, a coalition airstrike on the central Yemeni city of Taiz killed at least 80 people and injured around 150 others, local medical sources said.

The Houthi-controlled Saba news agency quoted a local source in Taiz as saying that the bombing targeted the Mokha area inhabited mostly by engineers and workers of a power station, as well as some displaced families.

The frontlines of Yemen's war shifted in favor of the Gulf Arab coalition earlier this month when in coordination with forces loyal to Hadi they managed to drive the Houthis out of the southern port city of Aden and much of the surrounding areas.

Since then airplanes carrying aid and military equipment have been landing in Aden airport, and officials have been working to re-open the facility, which has been closed due to the fighting.

Wire services

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