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Yemen Truce Set To Begin Along With Swiss Peace Talks

A Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's government says a cease-fire will begin December 15 in the war-torn country, coinciding with the beginning of UN-backed peace negotiations in Switzerland.

The coalition, which helped pro-government forces push back Shi’ite Huthi rebels and their allies earlier this year and reinstate the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi, warned in a December 14 statement that it nonetheless "reserves the right to respond in case of any violation."

"The cease-fire [will last] for a period of seven days starting from the 15th to the 21st of December in conjunction with the launch of consultations, and will be renewed automatically in the event of the commitment of the other party," the statement said.

Nearly 6,000 people have been killed in nine months of fighting between the Saudi-led Arab alliance and the Iranian-allied Huthi group.

Earlier UN attempts at negotiations and accompanying cease-fires failed, creating a humanitarian crisis and driving Yemen toward complete chaos.

Islamic State (IS) militants and their allies in a local Al-Qaeda affiliate -- Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -- have exploited the conflict to seize territory in the south and east of the country.

Militants also have a growing presence in Aden, where IS fighters last week claimed responsibility for a December 6 blast that killed the governor of the southern province along with several of his bodyguards.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP