ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- At least three soldiers of Yemen's pro-government forces were killed in an attack carried out by the Houthi militia in the country's southern province of Lahj on Friday, a military official told Xinhua.
"The Houthis fired a heat-seeking missile and struck a regular military patrol in the Yafea area of Lahj province as the deadline for the truce brokered by the United Nations (UN) draws near," the local military source said on condition of anonymity.
The source confirmed that the attack left three soldiers killed and four others injured at the scene.
"The Houthis intensified their attacks despite the current truce and a series of attacks struck the pro-government forces in various areas of the country over the past days," he said.
The UN, through its Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg, stepped up diplomatic efforts to renew the existing truce between Yemen's warring parties to prevent any resumption of the country's years-long military conflict.
After concluding his visit to Sanaa on Thursday, Grundberg said in a statement that "the renewal and expansion of the truce is a humanitarian imperative and a political necessity," warning "if there is a return to war, we might not have this opportunity again for a long time."
The UN-brokered truce between the Yemeni government and the Houthis went into force on April 2 and was later renewed twice through Oct. 2.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern cities and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of Sanaa. ■