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A Yemeni volunteer sprays disinfectant in a poor district of the capital Sanaa amid fears of a coronavirus outbreakA Yemeni volunteer sprays disinfectant in a poor district of the capital Sanaa amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak (AFP Photo/MOHAMMED HUWAIS)

Riyadh (AFP) – The Saudi-led coalition began a unilateral ceasefire in Yemen’s long war Thursday, saying it hoped the initiative to prevent coronavirus in the impoverished country would lead to a wider political solution.

The Iran-backed Huthi rebels have not made any comment on the coalition’s declaration of a two-week pause in the five-year conflict that took effect from 0900 GMT.

If the ceasefire does hold, it would be the first breakthrough since the warring parties agreed to a UN-brokered ceasefire in the