North Yemenis order ceasefire in war with south

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The Independent Online
SANAA - The Yemeni government in the northern capital, Sanaa, said its troops would observe a ceasefire in the civil war with southern foes from midnight last night.

The Foreign Minister, Mohammad Salem Basendwa, speaking during a day of heavy shelling on the southerners' stronghold of Aden, told reporters that the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the Arab League had been advised of the ceasefire.

'The ceasefire will last until the other side ceases to abide by it. Then I don't think it will be possible for us to stop our people,' he said.

The UN Security Council last Wednesday called for a ceasefire. The six Arab-nation Gulf Co-operation Council warned on Sunday of unspecified measures if the fighting continued.

Yesterday, witnesses said that shells crashed around Aden's airport and in the sea, disrupting maritime traffic although southern warplanes continued to roar off on constant sorties against the northerners. Some shells slammed into residential areas.

A southern military statement reported heavy fighting in Shabwa province, hundreds of miles east of Aden. The communique, which could not be confirmed, said 65 northern soldiers were killed and 200 wounded.

Witnesses in Aden reported southern positions loosing off heavy anti-aircraft fire yesterday afternoon. They said one incoming missile fell into the sea near the city's port. Black smoke drifted from Aden's refinery, hit twice on Sunday by what the south said were northern air raids.

New checkpoints sprang up in Aden's streets and traffic was thin. Many of the 350,000 residents queued for bread, water and petrol for the first time since the civil war started on 4 May. Armed civilians and soldiers patrolled streets in northern suburbs. The atmosphere was tense but there was little panic.

The military situation in villages north of Aden was not clear although the fighting has caused many casualties.

(Photograph omitted)