Yemen reaches ceasefire deal with rebels

A ceasefire deal was reached between the Yemeni government and the Shia Houthi group Monday after clashes between the two sides left 55 people injured here, media reported.

IANS| Updated: Jan 20, 2015, 00:48 AM IST

Sanaa: A ceasefire deal was reached between the Yemeni government and the Shia Houthi group Monday after clashes between the two sides left 55 people injured here, media reported.

The decision was made by a presidential committee, which included the country`s defence and interior ministers, special security forces commander and the presidential advisor Saleh al-Sammad, a member of the Houthi group, according to a Xinhua report.

Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard across Yemen`s capital Sana`a Monday while the presidential guards and Houthi fighters clashed near the presidential palace in the southern part of the city.

The Houthi fighters exerted control over the al-Nahdayn mountain Monday, which overlooks the presidential palace, an officer of the presidential guard told Xinhua.

The Houthis besieged the palace, which President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, though, did not live in.

Meanwhile, an official at Hadi`s office said the situation was under control.

He said the Houthis demanded modification of the draft constitution to "divide Yemen into two federal regions" instead of six.

Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the city after the ceasefire was announced.

Hundreds of residents were seen fleeing their homes in southern Sana`a. The Yemeni health ministry said in a statement that 55 people were injured and received treatment in a hospital.

The government was yet to identify the causes behind the clashes, but called Houthi fighters to calm down and resort to dialogue.