DUBAI: As peace talks between Yemeni government representatives and a Houthi delegation began on Thursday in Sweden, local reports from Yemen said that a group of Houthi militias shelled a commercial center in Hodeidah.
Local sources told Yemen’s official news agency Saba New that “the Houthi militia shelled the CityMax center with a mortar and artillery, which destroyed the center and burnt the building completely.”
“The commercial center contained commercial goods worth tens of billions of riyals,” the source said.
Local reports also claimed that Houthi militia targeted a number of civilian houses with mortars on Wednesday. The shells fell on a number of houses, causing total destruction and damage to other houses. One family was believed to haven been killed in the attack, however Arab News cannot independently conform this report.
Meanwhile, during the Stockholm peace talks, the warring parties agreed to a prisoner swap that will allow thousands of families to be reunited, United Nations special envoy Martin Griffiths said.
The talks mark the first meeting between Yemen’s legitimate government and Houthi militants, backed by Iran, since 2016, when 106 days of negotiations yielded no breakthrough in a war that has pushed 14 million people to the brink of famine.