Soldiers loyal to Yemen's government take part in a training exercise in the country's southwestern city of Taez December 13, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer
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At least 44 people have been killed in Saudi-led coalition air raids and fighting between Yemeni loyalists and rebels ahead of a possible cease-fire, medical and military sources said Sunday.A government-proposed seven-day cease-fire is expected to coincide with the negotiations.In the south, 12 rebels were killed when loyalist artillery hit two rebel vehicles near the city of Damt, which the Houthis and their allies captured in November, military sources said.In the same area, nine rebels and four pro-government fighters were killed in clashes late Saturday, the sources said.Further west, coalition warplanes early Sunday struck a rebel military convoy between Taiz province and Lahej in the south, killing seven people, tribal sources said.The United Nations says more than 5,800 people have been killed in Yemen, about half of them civilians, and more than 27,000 wounded since March.The warring sides have agreed to sit at the same table despite mutual mistrust, mainly over U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216 which calls for rebels to withdraw from key cities and surrender their weapons.
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