Military escalation in Yemen aiding spread of terrorist groups: UN envoy

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept 1 (APP): The United Nations envoy for Yemen has told the Security Council today that the military escalation in Yemen will provide opportunities for the spread of terrorist groups, posing a real threat to the region.

“Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) continue to wreak havoc in significant parts of Yemen,” Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said, adding that the absence of the state in many parts of the country will fuel the spread of terrorism.

On Monday, a suicide bombing that targeted an army recruiting compound in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden has left at least 65 people killed and 55 injured.The IS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed noted that the dangerous escalation in military activities has followed the collapse of the UN sponsored peace talks in host Kuwait, which aimed to end the country’s 18 months of fighting.

Since then, fighting escalated between foes inside Yemen and on the southern borders with Saudi Arabia. UN statistics show that the number of internally displaced persons has risen to over 3 million.

The envoy said though the talks did not yield an agreement, the architecture of a roadmap had emerged, which would be expanded upon in the coming weeks and both parties had agreed to continue consultations separately and to reconvene direct talks at a later stage.

Therefore, he called on all parties to resume cessation of hostilities at this moment and accelerate the path to renewed talks.

Yemen, an impoverished Arab country, has been gripped by one of the most active insurgencies in the Middle East.

Security in Yemen has deteriorated since March 2015, when war broke out between the Shia Houthi group, supported by former President Ali Abdullash Saleh, and the government backed by a Saudi led Arab coalition.

More than 6,400 people have been killed in ground battles and airstrikes since then, half of them civilians.