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Yemen marks cease-fire with Houthi rebels

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Agence France-Presse reports that Houthi rebels on Friday began clearing roadblocks and landmines, as is called for in the cease-fire agreement. The six-point truce requires the rebels to reopen three major northern mountain routes in the first stage of implementation: the road between Saada, Harf Sufian and the capital Sanaa; the road from Saada west to Malahidh, and the road from Saada east to Al-Jawf.

Army commanders have reportedly seen the guerrilla fighters start work on removing roadblocks and also on removing landmines from around some of their positions.

But it remains "unclear whether the cease-fire will hold,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Previous truce agreements have fallen through, and the Yemeni government’s war with Houthi rebels has “killed hundreds of people, displaced more than 200,000 villagers and strained impoverished Yemen's military.”

Saudi Arabia, which shares Yemen’s northern border, will also benefit from this cease-fire announcement. The oil-rich kingdom has been involved in Yemen’s conflict with Houthi rebels since last November, when a fighter killed a Saudi border guard. At the time, the Saudis responded with military force, reports The New York Times, though over the next three months, the Houthis' killed at least 133 Saudi soldiers in border skirmishes.

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