ADEN: Heavy fighting rocked Yemen hours before a UN-brokered ceasefire was due to begin on Wednesday, as warring parties come under mounting pressure to end a conflict that has raged for more than two years.
A United Nations report said air strikes by the coalition were suspected of causing around half of all civilian deaths, while rebel-affiliated groups were responsible for about a quarter. The UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, on Sunday announced the truce from 23:59 (2059 GMT) for an initial three days, subject to renewal. But clashes involving heavy artillery and air raids killed at least five people across the country on Wednesday, including fighting near the Saudi border and around the capital Sanaa, military sources said.
The last ceasefire attempt began in April alongside UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait but both the rebels and the coalition accused each other of breaches. After peace talks collapsed in August, fighting escalated until an October 8 coalition air strike which the UN said killed more than 140 people and wounded at least 525 at a funeral in Sanaa.