World

Yemen officials: 40 killed in 2 days of fighting despite ceasefire

Yemeni officials say at least 40 people have been killed over the past two days across the country in violence that has strained a ceasefire that started this week.

Saudi-led coalition airtrikes blamed for fatalities ahead of planned peace talks

Boys look through a hole made by a Saudi-led airstrike on a bridge in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Airstrikes have continued over the last two days despite a ceasefire and planned peace talks, anonymous Yemeni officials told The Associated Press. (Hani Mohammed/Associated Press)

Yemeni officials say at least 40 people have been killed over the past two days across the country in violence that has strained a ceasefire that started this week.

The truce is meant to pave the way for peace talks between Yemen's warring sides, due next week in Kuwait.

The officials say the fatalities resulted from airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition, which is battling the country's Shia rebels and their allies, and in fighting on the ground between rival groups. They say the capital, Sanaa, has been particularly hit by airstrikes.

They say a coalition airstrike Thursday in Nahm, an area east of Sanaa, killed at least one civilian and wounded five.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak to journalists.

According to a CBC News analysis, Saudi Arabia is Canada's second largest weapons customer after the U.S. Over the past decade, Canada has shipped more than $28 million worth of Canadian-made guns and rifles to Saudi Arabia.

Newly revealed documents from Global Affairs Canada confirm that Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion has signed off on export permits to ship $11 billion worth of the $15-billion  light armoured vehicle sale to the desert kingdom.

With files from CBC News

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