ADEN (Yemen), Fighters of the Houthis group renewed their shelling against the Red Sea Mills in the war-torn western port city of Hodeidah on Thursday, causing damages to the grain facility, a military spokesman told Xinhua.

The Houthi fighters launched a random mortar shelling on the Red Sea Mills in Hodeidah despite the cease-fire in the city, said Waddah Dubaish, spokesman for joint pro-government forces in the country's western coast.

He said that serious damages affected one of the silos containing tons of grain, causing a fire that destroyed large quantities of grain at the facility.

The military spokesman added that the Houthi shelling took place at the time when several millers were present and working for the re-operation of the grain facility under the supervision of the World Food Program (WFP).

He explained that the Red Sea Mills employees, who have been working since last Sunday, for maintenance and rehabilitation of the facility, stopped working after the bombing, and were about to leave for their safety.

Last Friday, an international team of seven experts began a visit to the war-torn province of Hodeidah, in preparation for restarting the Red Sea Mills operations, which have been stalled since last September.

The UN team accompanied by workers and millers managed to gain access to the government-controlled grain facility located near the military frontlines with the Houthis on the southern outskirts of Hodeidah last Sunday.

The Saudi-backed Yemeni government forces repeatedly accuse the Houthi gunmen of shelling the Red Sea Mills more than once during the past months.

In February, a team from the WFP and several organizations visited the Red Sea Mills for the first time since last September after being inaccessible because of the military conflict raging in Hodeidah.

The Red Sea Mills belong to Yemen's private sector and hold 51,000 metric tons of grain, which is enough to feed more than 3.7 million people for a month.

The WFP has also a number of warehouses filled with large amounts of grain at the Red Sea Mills in Hodeidah.

The Iran-allied Houthi rebels control the city while the Saudi-backed government troops have advanced to the southeastern outskirts.

Hodeidah is the key lifeline entry point for the country's most food imports and humanitarian aid. The four-year grinding war has pushed over 20 million people to the verge of starvation.

Yemeni warring parties reached a peace deal on Hodeidah in December last year as a first step toward brokering a comprehensive political solution.

Sporadic breaches are daily recorded in Hodeidah as the two belligerent sides failed to withdraw their forces in accordance with an agreement reached in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

Source: NAM News Network

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