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Yemen’s president, Houthi rebels agree to weeklong ceasefire

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Sanaa: Officials in the Yemeni president’s office and Shiite rebels who have controlled the capital Sanaa since September last year say they have agreed to start a weeklong ceasefire ahead of talks in Geneva.

Officials in President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to brief reporters, say the ceasefire will begin Monday, on the eve of the meeting.

The spokesman of the Shiite rebels known as Houthis, Mohammed Abdel Salam, said, “We have agreed to the ceasefire to lift the suffering of our people and to deliver humanitarian assistance to them.”

The fighting in Yemen pits the Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and President Hadi’s loyalists.