At least 19 people have been killed, following Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, in Yemen, the day before a UN-brokered ceasefire deal is set to begin.
Saudi-led airstrikes killed 19 Yemeni civilians in bombings of homes and a market on Sunday, residents said, a day before a UN-brokered ceasefire is set to start ahead of peace talks to end eight months of war.
Villagers in al-Hajawara in northern Hajjah province said multiple air bombings killed 12 people inside their homes and wounded 30 others. Residents in the southern district of Qabatiya said 7 civilians were killed in an attack on a market.
A Saudi military spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Yemen’s Iran-allied Houthi group is fighting a civil war against loyalists of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whose embattled government has been backed by airstrikes and ground forces from a mainly Gulf Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia.
Half of the nearly 6,000 people killed in the fighting and airstrikes are civilians, including 637 children, according to the United Nations.
A seven-day ceasefire is due to start on Monday, the day before planned UN-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland, senior officials on both sides of the civil war said.
Previous peace talks in June failed and a ceasefire the next month quickly unravelled, but months of stalemate in ground combat and reports of increased pressure by Gulf Arabs’ Western allies to end the war may encourage a political settlement.