Gunfire heard near Yemen port city as deadline expires

2018-06-13 11:15
(Hani Mohammed, AP)

(Hani Mohammed, AP)

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Gunfire has erupted near Yemen's port city of Hodeida as a Saudi-led coalition's deadline expired for Shi'ite rebels there to withdraw.

Social media users shared video of what appeared to be a convoy of vehicles approaching the crucial port city early on Wednesday morning. The sound of heavy, sustained gunfire clearly could be heard.

Forces loyal to Yemen's exiled government and irregular fighters led by Emirati troops had neared Hodeida in recent days.

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash earlier told French newspaper Le Figaro the deadline for a withdraw from Hodeida by Shi'ite rebels known as Houthis expired early on Wednesday morning.

The United Nations and other aid groups had pulled their international staff from Hodeida ahead of the rumoured assault.

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