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Monday, February 6th, 2023

Yemeni officials say Saudi-led airstrikes kill dozens in prison

The Saudi-led coalition says it was targeting storage for drones and missiles.

The Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebels on behalf of an internationally recognised government since 2015 in a war that has killed tens of thousands of people.

The apparent strikes follow Sweden’s foreign minister announcing on Friday that she was heading to the Middle East in an attempt to relaunch talks between Yemen’s government and the country’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Margot Wallstrom told Swedish Radio that she wants to “speak with as many people as possible,” saying she will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan, and planned to meet officials from the United Nations. Wallstrom admitted a deal signed in December was “fragile”.

“I believe we have a great deal of trust with the parties and we believe that it is our responsibility to try to ensure that this agreement is implemented,” she said.

In December, both sides signed a UN-brokered peace deal in Stockholm, Sweden, under mounting international pressure to alleviate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

But while the two sides agreed to the redeployment of forces from the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, they have been divided over who will run the main entry point for humanitarian aid to the country once they pull out. The UN-brokered deal reached in Stockholm was vague on that point, saying only that a “local force” would take over without specifying who would lead it.

Since the agreement, violence in Yemen has continued unabated between Shiite Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition formed in 2015 to fight on behalf of the government of Yemeni President Mansour Abed Rabbo Hadi.