Houthi killing spree jeopardizes truce

Updated 18 May 2015

Houthi killing spree jeopardizes truce

SANAA: Fierce clashes between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and pro-government forces killed dozens across south Yemen on Saturday, threatening to derail a humanitarian cease-fire drawn up to bring vital aid to the war-wracked country.
In the latest violence, at least 12 civilians were killed and 51 wounded when the Houthis shelled several neighborhoods in Yemen’s third city of Taez, military and local sources said.
The clashes came after overnight fighting killed 26 Houthi rebels and militiamen loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh as well as 14 pro-government forces, military sources said.
Some aid has begun to trickle into Yemen since the pause in fighting, but residents of areas where clashes persist complain they remain without the most basic supplies. The fighting in Taez forced many to flee to the countryside.
“Humanitarian aid hasn’t reached Taez, where we haven’t received fuel, food or medical equipment,” said a government official in the city.
And in southern Daleh province, five Houthis were killed overnight when their convoy was ambushed, an official said.
Morocco’s armed forces, meanwhile, said they have located the body of one of their pilots downed over Yemen. A plane has been sent with DNA experts to identify the body of Yassine Bahti, whose F-16 was shot down Monday.
The Yemeni embassy in Riyadh held Saturday a press conference announcing a series of measures taken ahead of peace talks.
Abdul Aziz Jabari, the head of the committee preparing for the talks, said the dialogue would result in effective decisions that would be obligatory for all parties.


Jordan's increase in coronavirus cases 'worrying', government says

Updated 20 min 30 sec ago

Jordan's increase in coronavirus cases 'worrying', government says

CAIRO: Jordan’s increase in coronavirus cases is “worrying,” however the situation remains under control, the Kingdom’s government said Thursday.
Minister of State for Media affairs Amjad Al-Adaileh called on Jordanians to avoid gatherings of more than 20 people.
He specifically addressed parents of high school students, who are waiting for exam results next Saturday, the state news agency PETRA reported.
Al-Adaileh said those who violate instructions on gatherings in a step to avoid the spread of the virus.
“Do not let your celebrations over school results turn into a setback on the epidemic level,” he said. 
Al-Adaileh said Jordanians are capable in two weeks, if they adhere to social distancing regulations, of restoring control over the spread of the disease and return local infection rates back to low levels. 
Jordan has overall seen a drop in COVID-19 cases, with new infections recorded mainly among travelers arriving from abroad.
However, the Kingdom registered 25 cases of COVID-19 in the past two days, mostly at the Jaber crossing with Syria. This prompted Jordan to close its border with Syria for a week starting Thursday. 
Al-Adaileh said no decision has been made yet on reimposing a curfew. He added that no Jordan official wishes to return to the lockdown, which had an serious impact on the country economically, socially and emotionally.