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By Mohammed Mukhashaf ADEN (Reuters) - The humanitarian situation in Yemen has become catastrophic, relief officials said on Monday, as Saudi-led aircraft pounded Iran-allied Houthi militiamen and rebel army units for a second day, dashing hopes for a pause in fighting to let aid in. Residents said warplanes flew between 15 and 20 sorties against groups of Houthi fighters and arms depots in the al-Dhalea provincial capital, Dhalea, and the nearby city of Qa'ataba, between dawn and 0900 local time (0600 GMT), setting off a chain of explosions that lasted for two more hours. A coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia, rattled by what they saw as expanding Iranian influence in the Arabian Peninsula, is trying to stop Houthi fighters and loyalists of former President Ali Abdullah Salah taking control of Yemen. Houthis were stopping convoys of trucks reaching the southern port city of Aden and an arms blockade by Saudi-led coalition navies searching ships for weapons was holding up food deliveries by sea.
President Barack Obama's choice for US attorney general, Loretta Lynch, was sworn in at her new job on Monday, becoming the first African American woman to hold the post. A career prosecutor known for trying high-profile anti-terrorism trials in New York, Lynch, 55, said she was "honored beyond words" to take over the job of the nation's top prosecutor. Lynch served twice as US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and has come to be known as a relentless federal prosecutor who put mobsters and terror suspects behind bars. Just last week, she announced a 25-year prison sentence for an American from New York who admitted he tried to join an Al-Qaeda group.