519 dead in 2 weeks of violence in Yemen: UN
The United Nations (UN) says at least 519 people, including women and children, have so far lost their lives in two weeks of violence in Yemen, as Saudi Arabia continues to target the country with military strikes.
In a statement on Thursday, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said that 1,700 people have also been wounded during clashes between rival groups in Yemen and in the Saudi strikes against the country.
Noting that 90 children were among the victims of the violence, she expressed concern “for the safety of civilians caught in the middle.”
Amos said that tens of thousands of people have fled their homes due to the clashes in the country, with some of them crossing the sea to Djibouti and Somalia.
“Those engaged in fighting must ensure that hospitals, schools, camps for refugees and those internally displaced and civilian infrastructure, especially in populated areas, are not targeted or used for military purposes,” Amos said.
Amos did not specify how many people were killed as a result of the Saudi aggression against Yemen.
A Yemeni child receives treatment at the burn unit of a hospital in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, on April 1, 2015, following a Saudi airstrike in the area of Yarim south of the capital the day before.
The violence in Yemen has sharply intensified following a Saudi air campaign, which was launched on March 26 to restore power to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by the Houthi Ansarullah movement. In February, he fled the capital to Aden, where he sought to set up a rival power base, and where he withdrew his resignation.
However, the Ansarullah movement said Hadi had lost his legitimacy as president of Yemen after he escaped the capital, Sana’a.
Gradually, as the Hadi government failed to provide security and properly run the affairs of the country, the Ansarullah fighters started to take control of state matters to contain corruption and terror.
The Ansarullah fighters took control of the Yemeni capital in September 2014 and are currently moving southward.
The fugitive president later fled Aden to the Saudi capital city of Riyadh after Ansarullah revolutionaries advanced toward Aden.