Yemen official slams 'Houthi shelling' hours before coronavirus ceasefire
"[The] Houthi militia responds to ceasefire calls by [the] Arab coalition with shelling residential areas in Marib and Al-Hodaydah provinces," said Moammar Al-Eryani, Yemen's minister of information, in a tweet early Thursday.
In hefty remarks, Eryani claimed the attack "confirmed" the Houthi rebels' "indifference" to peace, and reflected a lack of consideration about the risks of the coronavirus outbreak.
The unilateral ceasefire - which came into effect at 9am GMT - was announced the day before by Saudi Arabia, the leader of the military coalition fighting against Yemen's Houthi rebels.
Yemen, which has not yet announced confirmed coronavirus cases, has seen an uptick in violent attacks as of late.
On Sunday, Houthis targeted a women's prison in an attack that killed at least five women and a child.
Attacks continued even after the ceasefire was announced for Thursday, despite repeated calls by the United Nations to halt shellings in Yemen as it braces for the pandemic. Accusations of attacks came from both sides.
"We call for a serious international stance to protect civilian and stop the targeting of residential areas," the Yemeni offical said.
Later on Thursday, Griffiths met with Yemen’s Vice President Ali Mohsen Saleh al-Ahmar, the country's state news agency, Saba, reported.
Al-Ahmar said President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi had instructed Yemen's government to adhere to the ceasefire agreement called for by the UN.
Read more: How has coronavirus impacted conflicts in the Middle East?
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