Fighting eases in Yemen but no official cease-fire in place

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2018 file photo, a cargo ship is docked at the Red Sea port city, of Hodeida, Yemen. Yemeni officials said Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, that an informal agreement to reduce hostilities between Saudi-led coalition forces and rebels in and around Hodeida has taken hold. They said that hostilities have ceased for the past 24 hours, with both sides respecting the truce. The truce followed advances by the coalition in their latest attempt to retake the city from the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni officials say fighting has eased in the war-ravaged country, especially in the key port city of Hodeida after an informal agreement to reduce hostilities there.

The deal was declared on Monday, although smaller clashes have continued elsewhere.

Soldiers and eyewitnesses say fighting on the ground between Saudi-led coalition forces and Shiite rebels largely halted in Hodeida on Thursday, but continued in Bayda, Saada and Hajja provinces.

A U.N. official says there’s no official, hoped-for cease-fire but that there’s been “a significant reduction in hostilities.” The government announced a “pause” in the fighting for the day.

A coalition airstrike killed at least seven civilians in Hodeida on Wednesday.

All the officials spoke anonymously as they weren’t authorized to talk to reporters, while witnesses did so for fear of their safety.

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