Air strikes kill 15 civilians in Yemen, hours before truce: residents

Published December 15, 2015
A Yemeni tribesman from the Popular Resistance Committees, supporting forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, fires a machine gun. ─ AFP
A Yemeni tribesman from the Popular Resistance Committees, supporting forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, fires a machine gun. ─ AFP
Yemeni tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees, supporting forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed President Hadi, prepare and review ammunition in the area of Sirwa. ─ AFP
Yemeni tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees, supporting forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed President Hadi, prepare and review ammunition in the area of Sirwa. ─ AFP
Yemeni tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees prepare and review ammunition. ─ AFP
Yemeni tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees prepare and review ammunition. ─ AFP
Yemeni tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees prepare ammunition. ─ AFP
Yemeni tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees prepare ammunition. ─ AFP
Soldiers loyal to Yemen's government aim their rifles during a training exercise. ─ Reuters
Soldiers loyal to Yemen's government aim their rifles during a training exercise. ─ Reuters
Soldiers loyal to Yemen's government raise their weapons following a training exercise. ─ Reuters
Soldiers loyal to Yemen's government raise their weapons following a training exercise. ─ Reuters
In this photo provided by the Yemeni Presidency, President Hadi, center, meets with officials and local leaders in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen. ─ AP
In this photo provided by the Yemeni Presidency, President Hadi, center, meets with officials and local leaders in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen. ─ AP

DUBAI: Air strikes by an Arab coalition targeting Yemen's dominant Houthi group killed at least 15 people late on Monday, residents said, hours before a ceasefire was due to take effect to pave the way for United Nations (UN)-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland.

Residents said war planes launched two raids on the village of Bani al-Haddad, in the northern Hajjah province on the border with Saudi Arabia, killing 13 people and wounding 20 others. Two more residents died while medics were trying to evacuate them, they said.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition could not be reached for immediate comment but the alliance says it does not target civilians.

The coalition has said that the ceasefire requested by Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to facilitate the planned peace talks in Switzerland would start at noon local time (0900 GMT) on Tuesday.

In a statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA, the coalition said that Arab forces retained the right to respond to any breach of the ceasefire.

The coalition has been waging mainly air strikes on the Houthis since March, after the rebels seized control of much of the country in a series of moves that started in September 2014.

Two senior commanders from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among dozens of fighters killed in a rocket strike in south-western Yemen, according to local media and Yemeni sources on Monday.

A previous round of peace talks in Geneva in June failed to produce a breakthrough, with each side blaming the other for the failure of the talks.

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