UNICEF, in an appeal Wednesday, called on all parties in Yemen to act to prevent a humanitarian disaster in the country. The agency said it confirmed at least four children were killed and 18 others were injured by gunfire during the escalation of violence in Yemen.
The U.S. State Department condemned the latest violence, saying it undermined efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in Yemen.
"We call upon all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from further violence," the statement read. "We urge a prompt, impartial investigation into the events that led to the recent violence."
Yemen, through its official Saba news agency, said military and security forces were committed to a cease-fire ordered by Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The report blames breakaway military factions and gangs for the violence.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh gave Hadi authority to move ahead with an initiative proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council for political transition.
"A political solution is the best way to avoid further bloodshed," said the State Department. "We remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached that leads to the expeditious signing of the GCC political transition initiative."