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UN announces 72-hour truce for Yemen

ADEN, YEMEN: A 72-hour ceasefire in Yemen will go into effect starting Thursday, the United Nations announced on Monday.

A cessation of hostilities that first went into effect in April “will re-enter into force at 23:59 Yemen time (2059 GMT) on 19 October 2016, for an initial period of 72 hours, subject to renewal,” the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said in a statement.

The announcement comes after Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi agreed to the ceasefire in a statement earlier on Monday, a day after international calls for a truce.

Ahmed on Sunday said he had been in contact with the Huthis’ lead negotiator and Hadi’s government.

The United States, Britain and the UN peace envoy to Yemen on Sunday urged the warring parties in the country’s civil war to declare a ceasefire.

Saudi Arabia’s impoverished neighbour has been rocked by a deadly war since pro-Iran groups overran the capital Sanaa in September 2014.

However, the conflict escalated after an Arab coalition, led by Riyadh, launched a bombing campaign against the Shia Huthis and their allies in March 2015.

The conflict in Yemen has killed almost 6,900 people, wounded more than 35,000 and displaced at least three million since March last year, according to the United Nations.

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