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Yemeni rocket kills 70 Saudi mercenaries in Jawf: TV

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Saudi soldier from an artillery unit walks near ammunition at a position close to the Saudi-Yemeni border, in the kingdom’s southwestern Jizan Province, on April 13, 2015. (AFP photo)

Yemeni forces have killed scores of Saudi mercenaries in the war-hit country’s northern province of al-Jawf, local reports say.

According to a report on Yemen's al-Masirah news website, the rocket hit a building belonging to Saudi mercenaries late Tuesday and killed 70 of them. At least 100 others were injured in the attack, it said.

Local sources said the death toll may increase as the position was targeted while the mercenaries were distributing arms and munitions among themselves.

Saudi warplanes bombed an area in al-Zabab region in southern Yemen and the Hayran city in the northwestern province of Hajjah, al-Masirah reported without saying if there were any casualties.   

Meanwhile, Saudi state television said that three people were killed in shelling by Yemeni forces on the kingdom’s southern province of Jizan.

The report said the shelling happened around 5 p.m. Tuesday and the child died at a local hospital.

The attacks came despite a ceasefire announced by both Houthi and Saudi officials. 

On Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that a Houthi delegation was in the Arab kingdom to hold peace discussions.

A Houthi spokesman, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said on Tuesday a ceasefire was reached with Saudi Arabia to halt operations in a number of Yemeni provinces.

He said the truce would pave the way for peace talks between Ansarullah and former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s loyalists.

People look through a hole caused by a Saudi airstrike on a bridge in Yemen's capital, Sana’a, on March 23, 2016. © Reuters

Last month, the UN special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, announced that the former government and the Houthi Ansarullah movement had agreed to halt hostilities on April 10 ahead of a new round of peace talks to be held in Kuwait on April 18.

Saudi Arabia is under growing pressure as its protracted war has ground into a no-win situation. In February, Saudi military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri acknowledged that the kingdom was stuck in a “static war” against its southern neighbor.

Riyadh is also coming under an unprecedented chorus of criticism from around the world over rising civilian casualties and destruction in Yemen. 

Negotiations suggest Riyadh's submission to Houthi demands. The group had long maintained that any talks must be held with the Saudis as their main adversary in the war, and not with Hadi.

Saudi Arabia has been waging a war on Yemen since late March 2015 in a bid to return Hadi to power. Nearly 9,400 Yemenis, including 4,000 women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.

Yemenis, in return, have been carrying out retaliatory attacks on the Saudi forces deployed in the country as well as targets inside Saudi Arabia.

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