UN announces end of Yemen peace talks amid new fighting
Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, right, meets with the U.N. special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to agree on peace talks with Shiite Houthi rebels set to begin in mid-December, officials from the president's office said, in the southern city of Aden, Yemen, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. (Yemeni Presidency photo via AP)
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GENEVA: The United Nations says peace talks between warring sides in Yemen have ended amid severe new fighting in the country.

The U.N. office in Geneva says the special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, will hold a press conference later Sunday. The peace talks between pro-government fighters and Shiite rebels began Tuesday in the Swiss village of Macolin.

Fierce fighting and airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition pounded northern Yemen on Saturday, as the two main parties in the country’s conflict continued to violate a cease-fire.

Clashes in Hajjah Province near the Saudi border between rebel-allied units and pro-government Yemeni forces have killed more than 75 people over the past three days, according to Yemeni security officials and witnesses said.

Yemen’s fighting pits the internationally recognized government backed by a Saudi-led, U.S.-supported coalition against the rebels, known as Houthis, who are allied with a former president and backed by Iran. Local affiliates of al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have exploited the chaos to grab land and exercise influence.

According to U.N. figures, the war in Yemen has killed at least 5,884 people since March, when fighting escalated after the Saudi-led coalition began launching airstrikes targeting the rebels.

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