U.N. monitoring Yemen port exit
CAIRO — The U.N. said Sunday that it is monitoring the redeployment of rebel forces from three key ports in Yemen after the government dismissed the withdrawal as a “farce.”
The rebels, known as Houthis, said Saturday that they began the long-delayed redeployment of their forces from the key port of Hodeida, as well as the two smaller ports of Salif and Ras Issa, as part of a cease-fire reached in December.
The redeployment is seen as a key first step toward ending the civil war, which began in 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa. A Saudi-led coalition joined the war the next year on the side of the government. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and the war has generated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, the head of a U.N. mission overseeing the cease-fire, said U.N. teams watched as “the military forces left the ports and the Coast Guard took over responsibility for security.”
He said the first day of the redeployment of Houthi forces went “in accordance with established plans.” Activities in the following days are expected to focus on “removal of military manifestations and demining.”
The monitors will verify the rebels’ withdrawal on Tuesday, he said in a statement.
Burma jet makes harrowing landing
RANGOON, Burma — A Myanmar National Airlines plane made an emergency landing at Mandalay International Airport on Sunday, using only its rear wheels after the front landing gear failed to deploy.
All 82 passengers and seven crew members aboard Flight UB103 from Rangoon were declared safe after the Brazilian-made Embraer 190-LR touched down on its rear sets of wheels before the plane’s nose tilted down to scrape the runway, sending off a shower of sparks as it slowed to a stop.
Kyaw San, a spokesman for the airport, said the pilot informed the control tower before landing that he was unable to pull down the nose wheels.
A statement on the airline’s Facebook page explained that the plane’s Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System indicated a failure of the front landing gear to deploy. The pilot tried a backup emergency procedure to pull down the wheels but that was unsuccessful. The aircraft did two flybys past the tower for air controllers to check visually whether the wheels had deployed.
The captain followed emergency procedures to dump fuel to reduce the landing weight and made a safe landing at 9:09 a.m., said the statement.
Myanmar National Airlines is Burma’s state-run airline. Burma is often called Myanmar, a name that military authorities adopted in 1989. Some nations, such as the United States and Britain, have refused to adopt the name change.
W. African church hit; 6 people slain
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Authorities say gunmen attacked a Catholic church in Burkina Faso, killing a priest and five worshippers.
The attack on Sunday took place in Dablo, about 124 miles from the capital, Ouagadougou.
Urbain Kabore, a government spokesman for the West African country’s Sahel region, said the gunmen also set fire to a health center and destroyed all places serving alcohol.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attacks bore the hallmarks of Islamic extremists who are known to be active in the area. An attack on a Protestant church about two weeks ago left six people dead.