UN calls for truce as Aden bombed

ADEN (Reuter) - Northern Yemeni aircraft bombed targets close to Aden yesterday as their forces tried to mount a decisive push on the southern capital ahead of a ceasefire call from the United Nations Security Council. It was the first time that the north had used its air force over the city since early in the civil war that broke out last month.

Aircraft raided targets a few miles from the south's only oil refinery west of the city, hitting a residential area for refinery employees, southern officials said. They said two buildings were damaged. Aden radio said several women and children were killed.

The Security Council yesterday called unanimously for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations to end Yemen's civil war. The resolution also urged an immediate halt to the supply of arms that might contribute to the conflict and asked the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, to send a fact-finding mission to the area as soon as practicable to assess prospects for a peace dialogue.

Southern leaders have pinned their hopes on action by the UN Security Council to stop the war, in which the more populous north has held the upper hand.

The north's government in Sanaa has opposed the involvement of the UN in the crisis and is anxious to head off any action that implies recognition of the southern breakaway state. Any ceasefire call, it has said, should endorse Yemen's unity.