SANAA, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Heavy clashes erupted between the Yemeni government army and Houthi militia on Wednesday in the government-held province of Marib despite a UN-backed truce, the Media Center of Yemeni Armed Forces said.
The clashes broke out in the al-Balak al-Sharki mountain, a few km to the south of Marib city, capital of the province, the army's media center said on Twitter.
The army repelled a series of attacks by the Houthi militia against its positions in the mountain, it added.
According to residents of the city, the artillery fire and heavy machine guns were heard from dawn to noon.
The Houthi militia has made no comment on the claim yet, but its media channels reported alleged breaches by the pro-government army on several frontlines including those in Marib, giving no further details.
The Houthi militia has lost several strategic districts in central Yemen in the oil-rich provinces of Shabwa and Marib during the past three months.
The UN-brokered cease-fire, meant to last two months, came into effect on April 2.
The truce includes the halt of all ground, aerial and naval offensives across Yemen and its borders.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million, and pushed the country to the brink of famine. ■