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Iran summons Saudi envoy over Yemen strike

Clashes break out in Yemeni city of Taez as UN ceasefire talks are abruptly canceled

Shiite fighters, known as Houthis, wearing army uniforms escort the convoy of Ismail Weld al-Sheikh, new UN special envoy to Yemen, at the international airport in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (AP/Hani Mohammed)
Shiite fighters, known as Houthis, wearing army uniforms escort the convoy of Ismail Weld al-Sheikh, new UN special envoy to Yemen, at the international airport in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (AP/Hani Mohammed)

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the Saudi Arabian envoy to register its protest over an airstrike near Tehran’s embassy in Yemen, Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Iran warned the Saudi charge d’affaires against any violations of the diplomatic immunity of embassy staff and facilities, the report said.

The meeting came amid renewed clashes between Yemeni pro-government forces and rebels in Taez, Yemen’s third-largest city. Iran supports the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, who seized the capital last year. Both Tehran and the Houthis insist Tehran has not armed them, but only provided humanitarian aid.

The clashes came a day after a UN official said a proposed peace conference for the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country had been postponed indefinitely.

Witnesses said the fighting in several districts of Taez on Monday morning sparked panic among residents.

The clashes, which erupted on Sunday and raged overnight, have killed at least 30 Houthi rebels and allied forces, a local official told AFP.

Clashes were also reported in other Yemen provinces on Monday, including Aden, Daleh, Shabwa and Abyan.

A Saudi-led coalition has been striking the rebels from the air since late March in a campaign dubbed Operation Decisive Storm, aimed at restoring to power Yemen’s internationally recognized president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the country earlier that month.

A UN-backed summit intended to broker a ceasefire between the warring parties was indefinitely postponed on Monday as the exiled president demanded the Houthi rebels relinquish territory in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2216.

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