Taiz residents locked in city as Yemen fighting resumes
The fighting comes a day after a fragile 48-hour ceasefire came to an end with skirmishes turning into battles on Tuesday.
Forces loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi fought off Houthi rebels and their allies on the western outskirts of Taiz city, Yemeni officials told AFP.
The attack began late Monday and targeted the al-Dhabab area, which provides pro-Hadi forces with their only access to the flashpoint city of 300,000 people that is surrounded by insurgents.
War planes from the Saudi-led Arab coalition took part in operations to repel the attack, officials said.
Eleven rebel fighters and five pro-government soldiers were killed in the clashes around the south-western city, they said, which saw massive artillery barrages take place.
It has left civilians stranded with little supplies and caught up in the crossfire, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned on Tuesday.
"Taiz has been cut off from the outside world for more than a year now. In parts of the governorate, people have not had access to power or running water throughout this time," said Alexandre Faite, head of the Red Cross in Yemen.
"Sniper fire and indiscriminate shelling has trapped civilians. Dead bodies are in the streets and people are unable to attend to their most basic needs. The situation is desperate."
He said that civilians had been struggling to find food and water, while hospitals had filled up with 200 wounded over the past three days of fighting.
Meanwhile battles in Midi on the coast cost 18 rebels and four soldiers their lives.
"Rebel sniper fire on Monday night killed three soldiers as the Houthis tried to advance on Midi's harbour, which is controlled by pro-Hadi forces," Abdel Ghani Chebli, a pro-government commander told AFP.
Agencies contributed to this story.