A man walks past a house destroyed during battles between Houthi fighters and pro-government fighters in the southwestern city of Taiz, Yemen November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Anees Mahyoub Image Credit: REUTERS

Al Mukalla: Not even an hour into a declared ceasefire in Yemen, Iran-backed Al Houthis heavily shelled Taiz in a clear violation of the truce.

Thunderous explosions rocked Yemen’s third largest city on Saturday after the Saudi-led coalition announced a 48-hour truce in Yemen which began at 12:00pm local time, that could be renewed if both parties respected it.

“A shell has just landed not far from where I am standing,” Abd Hamoud, a field commander of government allied tribesmen, told Gulf News.

Local medics said three people were killed and ten injured on Saturday afternoon.

Hamoud said that only warplanes from the coalition stopped bombing Al Houthi military sites.

“As soon as coalition warplanes disappeared from the sky on Saturday, Al Houthis intensified their shelling on the eastern and western edges of the city.”

“Our field hospitals have received many people injured in Al Houthis shelling.” Sadeq Al Shouja’a, a physician and the head of field hospital in Taiz, told Gulf News by telephone.

Similarly, the state-run Saba news agency said on Saturday that president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi rang army commanders in the city of Taiz and asked them to be on a “high alert” and respond to possible Al Houthi breaches of the ceasefire.

He said there would be aerial surveillance around the clock to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire.

Government forces in the city have recently taken control of many strategic locations on the eastern side of the city, pushing rebel forces further out.

The city’s residents have suffered under a grueling Al Houthi-imposed siege.

On the Nehim front, outside Al Houthi-held Sana’a, sporadic clashes between the government forces and the rebel forces were reported on Saturday afternoon after Al Houthis initiated fire, according to Abdullah Al Shandaqi, a spokesperson for Sana’a resistance. Meanwhile on Saturday, the Yemen Journalist Syndicate mourned the death of Awab Al Zubiri, a local photographer, who was killed in the city of Taiz on Friday while covering government forces territorial gains on the eastern edges of the city.