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    Houthi Rebels Shake Yemen (127)
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    Yemeni president is forming a ceasefire committee as clashes between the governmental forces and Houthi militants continue to escalate in the country's capital of Sanaa.

    MOSCOW, January 19 (Sputnik) — Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is forming a committee, whose mandate will include ensuring a ceasefire in the country's capital Sanaa following confrontations with Houthi rebels, a government source told Sputnik on Monday.

    According to the source, Saleh Samad, an adviser to the Houthis, will be part of the committee.

    Earlier, a source from the Yemeni security services told Sputnik, "Clashes, that can be categorized as violent, are currently happening in regions located to the east of the presidential palace."

    A ceasefire between the conflicting sides was reportedly agreed upon after the clashes, shortly before noon local time (09:00 GMT), though gunfire was heard by locals following the agreement.

    Clashes between the Yemen army and Houthi rebels continue to escalate in the country's capital of Sanaa, according to Monday posts on social networking sites, by Yemeni media and locals.

    "Huge personal and artillery deployment in Sanaa streets. It seems the situation is escalating further," posted Yemen Updates, a Twitter-based news account based in Yemen, adding that "huge explosions" were heard in several parts of the city.

    "Almost 1530 local [time, 12:30 GMT]: Large explosions and gunfire still heard in Presidential Palace area of #Yemen capital Sanaa," @BaFana3, a lawyer from Sanaa Haykal Bafana, wrote.

    According to Haykal Bafana, the clashes have currently claimed one victim.

    However, according to other media reports, at least two people have been killed and 14 injured in clashes Monday.

    Yemen Updates reports that children were among those injured. "Children of Al-Tuhaif School in Sanaa were injured due to the shelling that hit the school today morning," the media outlet posted.

    The confrontation comes two days after presidential chief of staff Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak and his guards were kidnapped. The Houthis are suspected to be behind the attack, as they opposed Mubarak's nomination for the post of the country's prime minister.

    On Monday morning news agencies reported citing witnesses that Yemeni armed forces were fighting Shiite Houthi insurgents outside the presidential palace in Sanaa. According to local media, Yemen's information minister Nadia Sakkaf said Monday's Houthi attack was an attempt to seize power in the country.

    The Houthis are the country's main opposition movement, and played an important role in driving out then-leader Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012. The group staged major protests and occupied several cities, demanding resignation of the government. Last September, the Houthi insurgency spread to Sanaa.

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