Yemen agrees on truce with rebels

Sanaa: The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Jamal bin Omar said late Saturday that he had brokered a ceasefire deal between the Yemeni government and Shia Houthi group.

The UN envoy said the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels agreed to put an end to the deadly clashes in the capital that have left more than 200 people killed since Tuesday, but did not mention when the two sides would sign on it, Xinhua reported. "The presidency needed time to prepare for the signing ceremony," Omar said.

Yemen's interior ministry declared a curfew in several areas of Sanaa Saturday, as clashes intensified between Shia Houthi rebels and the Sunni-militia-supported army.

The curfew was imposed in northwest Sanaa where the two sides were raging fierce battles that were expanding towards the city centre. Regular explosions were heard in downtown Sanaa.

As many as 55 people, including at least ten civilians, were killed Saturday, which pushed the toll to more than 200 since the clashes broke out Tuesday, medical sources said.

The deadly clashes broke out as negotiations between the Sunni-dominated government and the Shia Houthi group ran into deadlock after the rebels walked away from talks on a solution to end the crisis Monday, saying there was "foreign intervention".

The Houthis have held protests since August in Sanaa, while thousands of its members took up positions near the capital to force the resignation of the Yemeni government.

The Houthis, who took up arms in 2004, control the northern province of Saada since 2010 and have been trying for months to expand the areas under their control.

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