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Yemen talks: ceasefire in crucial supply port of Hodeida

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By Mark Armstrong with AP, Reuters
The Red Sea port of Hodeidah in Yemen
The Red Sea port of Hodeidah in Yemen   -   Copyright  Reuters   -  
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Yemen's warring factions have agreed to implement a ceasefire in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida and the surrounding province according to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The development comes after the latest week-long peace talks in Sweden.

Representatives from Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the internationally recognised government supported by the US, and a Saudi-led coalition are taking part in the negotiations that are aimed at winding down the devastating civil war.

Guterres thanked the Yemeni delegations for what he called "an important step" and "real progress toward future talks to end the conflict" and also said that the next round of talks was planned for the end of January.

The strategically important port has seen some of the heaviest fighting in the four-year brutal war. Just four days ago six people were killed and 12 others injured when a shell hit a house just outside the city, scenes from the aftermath of that attack can be seen in the player above.

According to witnesses, an explosive hit the house, in the Rabsa neighbourhood of Hodeida, early Sunday morning.

It is unclear which direction the strike came from, but the Houthis blamed the Saudi-led coalition.

According to the United Nations, 22 of its 29 million people are in need of aid, and Hodeida is a vital entry point for humanitarian assistance. The two sides have for months been locked in a struggle to control the port.