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Oct 19, 5:38 PM EDT

Yemen's 72-hour UN mediated ceasefire starts

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Yemen's 72-hour UN mediated ceasefire starts

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SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- A ceasefire has started in Yemen after warring parties agreed to hold a 72-hour truce.

Earlier this week, The United Nations envoy to Yemen announced that all parties to the conflict agreed to cease hostilities at 11:59 p.m. local time on Wednesday for an initial period of 72 hours that is subject to renewal.

The deal followed days of military escalation in northern Yemen where Saudi-led coalition backed anti-Houthi rebel forces in their push in rebels' strondhold of Saada.

The war in Yemen began in 2014 when Shiite rebels known as Houthis based in the north seized the capital, Sanaa and later swept across much of the poor Arabian Peninsula country.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launched a campaign of airstrikes against the rebels.

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