Yemen Rebels Say Willing to Attend U.N. Talks

A member of Yemeni pro-government forces raises his weapon in the Red Sea port town of Mokha

"We've had two major waves of cholera epidemics in recent years and unfortunately the trend data that we've seen in the last days to weeks suggests that we may be on the cusp of the third major wave of cholera epidemics in Yemen", WHO emergency response chief Peter Salama told reporters in Geneva.

Martin Griffiths told the Security Council that military experts say the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeida, Yemen, "has become the center of gravity of the war" - and avoiding a battle for the port and the city "has a better chance of being resolved within a comprehensive political settlement".

Al-Thawra Hospital, Yemen's biggest, was caught in the attack.

About 3000 Yemeni children are fleeing every day from the port city of Hodeida as fighting between a Saudi-led coalition and Yemen's Shia rebels continues to rage along the country's west coast, an global aid group said yesterday.

"The coalition did not carry out any operations in Hodeidah today", spokesman Col.

The Yemeni authorities and their backers are demanding that the Huthis withdraw from Hodeida and that the government retakes control. "The Houthi militia are behind killing of civilians in Hodeidah on Thursday", he said.

About 70 percent of Yemen's food imports flow through Hodeidah port; about 8.4 million Yemenis are said by aid workers to be on the verge of starvation.

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As people rushed the dead and injured to the al-Thawra hospital just 20 meters (60 feet) away, the warplane began bombing the entrance to the hospital, apparently to prevent the injured from receiving treatment.

The gulf country launched in June the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (MASAM) to remove mines in Yemen, protect civilians and ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian supply.

The rebel-run Al Masirah TV reported that airstrikes killed 52 people and left more than 100 wounded. "Nothing can justify this loss of life", she said, adding that hundreds of thousands of people depended on the hospital to survive.

The attack followed accusations by Saudi Arabia that Houthi rebels had attacked a Saudi oil vessel in a shipping lane in the Red Sea last week.

For the last few weeks, the United Nations had been trying to broker a deal in a bid to avert the attack and stop Saudi human rights violations, which it fears would further hinder Yemenis' access to food, fuel and medicine - worsening the world's most urgent humanitarian crisis.

NEW YORK: The United Nations has invited warring sides in Yemen's civil war for talks on 6 September in Geneva to discuss a framework for negotiations to achieve peace in a country where eight million people are suffering from hunger.

The UN has initiated peace talks to try to bring the violence to a halt.

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