Deal reached on reinforcing truce in Yemeni city

Unlike other parts of Yemen, the ceasefire in the southwestern city of Taiz was breached and not completely in force

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A deal has been reached on Saturday to reinforce the fragile Yemeni ceasefire in its southwestern city of Taiz, sources told Al Arabiya News Channel.

Sources said the local committee tasked to supervising the ceasefire in Taiz has agreed with Yemen’s warring sides to start reinforcing the country-wide truce which started at midnight on April 10.

Unlike other parts of Yemen, the ceasefire in Taiz had been breached.

The sources said the ceasefire reinforcement will start at 2 PM local time (11 GMT).

While the deal was reached, sources told Al Arabiya News Channel that the Iran-backed Houthi and its allied deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh's militias violated the ceasefire in Taiz when they attacked Brigade 35 headquarters belonging to the internationally-recognized Yemen government.

The agreement will allow the opening of the two main thoroughfares connecting Taiz and the capital Sanaa from the east, and Taiz and Al-Hudaidah city from the west.

A source in the committee has also confirmed that each of the warring sides will bring lists of prisoners for a potential swap.

On Friday, the UN special envoy for Yemen, who will be leading peace talks next week between the internationally-recognized government and Houthi militias, said that peace has never been as close as it is today.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed urged the government and the Iranian-backed Houthis to “drop their destructive and belligerent attitudes,” agree to overcome obstacles, and restore peace after more than 18 months of war.

The conflict has killed more than 6,400 people, injured over 30,000, and devastated the Arab world’s most impoverished country.

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