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War-torn Yemen holds breath as breakthrough truce begins

Forces loyal to Yemen's Huthi rebels take part in a military parade in Sanaa marking the seventh anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition's intervention in their country
— Sanaa (AFP)

Yemen's warring parties laid down their weapons for the first nationwide truce since 2016 on Saturday, with all eyes on whether the UN-brokered ceasefire will hold.

The Iran-backed Huthi rebels and Saudi-led coalition have both agreed to observe the two-month truce, which took effect at 1600 GMT on the first day of Ramadan, the Muslim holy fasting month.

"The two-month truce started at 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) tonight. As of tonight, all offensive ground, aerial and naval military operations should cease," UN special envoy Hans Grundberg said in a statement.

Huthi military spokesman Yahya Saree confirmed "our commitment to a comprehensive cessation of military operations as long as the other party adheres to this", in a statement released by the rebels.

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