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US Navy sends warships to Yemen waters

Helicopters fly from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt Credit: US Navy

The US Navy has sent two warships to Yemen waters but say that there is "no specific mission" to intercept Iranian arms.

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy moved into the Arabian Sea yesterday to conduct maritime security operations, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The spokesman, Army Colonel Steve Warren, denied reports that the ships were on a mission to intercept Iranian arms shipments.

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Yemen: Oxfam facility 'targeted in Saudi-led airstrikes'

An Oxfam warehouse in northern Yemen was targeted by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on Saturday, the charity has claimed.

The organisation said the alleged attack on a storage facility in Saada was an "absolute outrage" and claimed it had shared "detailed information" with the coalition about the location of its facilities in the country.

Oxfam said no-one was killed, but the building did contain humanitarian supplies that were helping to bring clean water to people in the region.

Grace Omner, Oxfam country director in Yemen, said: "The contents of the warehouse had no military value. It only contained humanitarian supplies associated with our previous work in Saada, bringing clean water to thousands of households."

Oxfam claims that more than 100,000 Yemenis have fled since conflict in the country began three weeks ago, and has called for a negotiated peace to allow humanitarian access to affected parts of the country.

UN Sec-Gen calls for immediate ceasefire in Yemen

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an end to fighting in Yemen. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen, the first time he has made such an appeal since Saudi-led air strikes against Houthi rebels began three weeks ago.

In a speech to the National Press Club in Washington.Mr Ban said: "I am calling for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen by all the parties.

"The Saudis have assured me that they understand that there must be a political process. I call on all Yemenis to participate in good faith."

Yemen: Iran denies military advisers are working with rebels

Iran has denied that any of its officers are advising Houthi rebels in Yemen, despite claims that two Iranian military advisers were captured by local militiamen in Aden.

"Iran has no kind of military force in Yemen," Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said via state broadcaster IRNA.

Rapid advances by the Houthi in Yemen have drawn air strikes from Tehran's regional rival Saudi Arabia.

Red Cross call for 24-hour Yemen ceasefire

The International Red Cross (Icrc) have called for an immediate 24-hour ceasefire in Yemen so they can bring in medical aid.

A statement released by the Icrc said: "All air, land and sea routes must be opened without delay for at least 24 hours to enable help to reach people cut off after more than a week of intense air strikes and fierce ground fighting nationwide."

A spokeswoman for the charity told Reuters they were negotiating with all parties and are "hopeful" of getting clearances for aid delivery by Sunday.

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Al-Qaida militants free 300 inmates from Yemeni jail

Followers of the Houthi demonstrate in Sanaa against the Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen Credit: Reuters

Al-Qaida militants in Yemen have freed 300 prisoners from a jail in the coastal city of al-Mukalla in Yemen as it takes advantage of the unrest in the country.

The group was able to capture the city as the county remains in turmoil as a Saudi-led air campaign continues to target Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and rival groups fight it out across much of the country.

Forces loyal to exiled Yemen president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi continue to clash with Shiite Houthis, loyal to Yemen's deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Yemen's second city Aden.

War planes attack rebels in Yemen's capital Sanaa

A Saudi-led coalition has launched attacks against Yemen's Shiite Houthi group. Credit: Reuters/Nabeel Quaiti

War planes attacked Yemen's capital Sanaa through the night until dawn, residents of the city told Reuters.

"There were planes strikes all through the night and stopped at dawn," said a resident in Sanaa, adding that explosions were heard in an area west of the capital were a government national guard base was located.

There was no detail on whether the planes belonged to the Saudi-led coalition which has launched attacks against Yemen's Shiite Houthi group in support of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Yemen President leaves under Saudi protection

Yemen's president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has left the southern city of Aden under Saudi protection for Egypt, Saudi-owned al Arabiya television said.

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Credit: Reuters

He will attend an Arab summit on Saturday. The Dubai-based satellite channel reported: "Hadi leaves Aden to (Egypt's Red Sea resort of) Sharm el-Sheikh under Saudi protection."

Military: 'Saudi Arabia and Egypt to lead Yemen offensive'

Military and security officials in Egypt have said Saudi Arabia and Egypt will lead a ground operation in Yemen against Shiite rebels and their allies after a campaign of airstrikes to weaken them. Three senior officials have told The Associated Press that forces would enter by land from Saudi Arabia and by sea from the Red Sea and Arabian Sea. Other nations will also be involved by Thursday, they said.

People gather at the site of an air strike near Sanaa Airport. Credit: Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

The officials would not specify troop numbers or say when the operation would start, only that it would be after airstrikes weaken the rebels and allied forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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