Human rights activists look at a hole in the roof during a visit to a community hall that was struck by an air strike during a funeral on October 8, in Sanaa, Yemen, October 16, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi
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A roller-coaster week in Yemen has seen a major escalation in fighting swiftly followed by efforts to ease tensions that could open the door to renewed peace talks, experts said Sunday.An Arab coalition has intervened since March 2015 in support of Yemeni President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi's internationally recognized government after it was forced to flee as Shiite Houthi rebels seized the capital and pushed south.The coalition has carried out hundreds of airstrikes and provided ground troops to support Hadi's forces. Simultaneously, Muscat said it had mediated the release of two American citizens held in Yemen and flew them to Oman on Saturday night on the same relief flight, with U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner noting the "humanitarian gesture by the Houthis".Sunday the United States and Britain called for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire in Yemen to end violence.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said if Yemen's opposing sides accepted the cease-fire then the special envoy to the U.N., Cheikh Ahmed, would work through the details and announce when and how it would take effect.
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