Middle East

Yemen conflict: Negotiators agree Taiz aid deal

People help move an injured man in a wheelchair in Taiz. Photo: November 2015 Image copyright AP
Image caption Taiz has been the scene of months of fierce fighting between Houthi rebels and forces backing the government

Negotiators from Yemen's warring sides have agreed to allow the resumption of aid deliveries to the besieged city of Taiz, the UN special envoy has said.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the deal was reached at UN-brokered talks in Geneva, Switzerland.

The south-western city has been the scene of months of fierce fighting between Houthi rebels and forces backing the government.

Local residents are now enduring dire shortages of all kinds, reports say.

Mr Ahmed described the agreement as a "major step forward".

There are hopes that aid deliveries will be sent to other Yemeni cities in the coming days.

At least 5,700 people, almost half of them civilians, have been killed in air strikes and fighting on the ground since a Saudi-led coalition launched a military campaign in March in support of the government.

The campaign was launched after the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa and advanced towards the second city of Aden.

The already dire humanitarian situation in Yemen has also deteriorated severely, with more than 21 million people - four-fifths of the population - now requiring aid.

Since March, coalition and pro-government forces have retaken Aden and the city of Marib.