Yemen said on Saturday it would stop military operations for the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr in a war with Shiite rebels. "The government will cease military operations in the north western regions from this point forward," a statement in state media said.
The Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin on Sunday and last for three days. The statement said the ceasefire would begin Saturday. Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, leader of the rebels of in Saada and Amran provinces, told Al Jazeera television his fighters were ready to halt the fighting and urged the government to release prisoners held for four years.
According to Reuters, a statement on the rebels' website said that on Friday the army had launched three air raids and blown up houses in Saada city.