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Saudi-led coalition announces end of Yemen ceasefire

Riyadh declares end of a weeks-long ceasefire that has been violated since the day it was called
Damage at a Coca-Cola factory in Sanaa reportedly destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes on 30 December (AFP)

Saudi officials on Saturday announced the end of a weeks-long ceasefire in the fight against Houthis in Yemen that has been violated on a daily basis since it was declared.

The "coalition leadership announces the end of the truce in Yemen starting from 1400" (11:00GMT) on Saturday, the alliance said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The Saudi statement said the ceasefire, announced on 15 December, had been ended as a result of continuous Houthi "attacks on the kingdom's territories by firing ballistic missiles towards Saudi cities, targeting Saudi border posts, and hampering aid operations".

The Houthis have also "continued to shell residents and kill and detain Yemeni civilians in cities under their control," said the coalition.

"All this shows how unserious the militias and their allies are and their disregard for the lives of civilians, and how they have clearly exploited this truce to make gains."

However, the coalition "was and is still eager on creating the suitable circumstances to find a peaceful solution in Yemen," it said.

A Houthi reaction to the Saudi statement was not immediately available on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition that has been battling Houthis in neighbouring Yemen since March.

In recent days, the Houthis intensified their rocket attacks across the Saudi border, prompting the coalition to threaten severe reprisals.

The Saudis have deployed Patriot missile batteries designed to counter attacks and have recently been intercepting missiles fired from Yemen on an almost-daily basis.

More than 80 people, most of them soldiers and border guards, have been killed in shelling and cross-border skirmishes in the kingdom's south since coalition operations began in Yemen.

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