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Yemen Houthi rebels welcome UN-proposed 72-hour ceasefire

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-10-19 09:42

Yemen Houthi rebels welcome UN-proposed 72-hour ceasefire

People shop at a market in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, on Oct 18, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

SANAA -- Yemen's dominant Shiite Houthi group and its ally of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's party welcomed on Tuesday a United Nations-proposed 72-hour ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid access to the war-stricken Arab country.

The ceasefire between Houthi fighters and their rival Saudi-backed exiled government forces was declared by the United Nations on Monday to take effect at 2359 local time (2059 GMT) on Wednesday.

"The Supreme Political Council (a governing body composed of top officials from Houthi group and Saleh's party) welcomes the ceasefire without preconditions and demands immediate stop to the (Saudi-led coalition) aggression and lift of the air, sea and land blockade imposed on the Yemeni people," said the Houthi group and Saleh's party in a joint statement carried by Saba news agency late on Tuesday.

On Monday, the exiled President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi agreed to the 72-hour ceasefire, according to a statement by his government's Foreign Minister Abdul-Malik Mekhlafi.

The minister demanded Houthis lift siege to the southern city of Taiz and access of humanitarian supplies to the war-torn city.

The 19-month civil war have killed over 10,000 people, mostly civilians, and pushed the country's 26 million people to near famine.

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