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Yemen: Government forces, rebels clash in Al-Hudaydah

A Yemeni fighter of the pro-government forces walks with a rifle in the Huthi-held Red Sea port city of Hudaydah on December 15, 2018. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images)
A Yemeni fighter of the pro-government forces walks with a rifle in the Houthi-held Red Sea port city of Hudaydah on December 15, 2018. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images)

Clashes erupted between government forces and Houthi rebels in the coastal city of Al-Hudaydah on Sunday, according to a Yemeni government source.

“The violence broke out in a number of eastern and southern neighborhoods in the city,” the source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

He blamed the rebels for triggering the clashes after pounding positions of government forces in the city.

There was no comment from the Shia Houthi group on the claim.

On Saturday, the Yemeni army said 12 civilians had been killed and injured in Houthi shelling south of Al-Hudaydah.

Read: New UN access to Hudaydah mills could boost Yemen aid operation

The fresh violence comes amid accusations between the Yemeni government and rebels of violating a UN-brokered ceasefire deal in the strategic city.

Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014 when the Shia Houthi group overran much of the country. The crisis escalated in 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The ongoing violence has destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as one of “the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

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