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549 dead in Yemen violence: UN

6 April 2015 14:22


The United Nations (UN) says at least 549 people have died in almost three weeks of violence in Yemen, as Saudi Arabia continues to target the country with military strikes.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report published on Monday that 1,707 people have also been injured in the violence in Yemen since March 19.

According to the OCHA’s data, at least 217 of those killed were civilians. Another 516 civilians were also injured.

However, the UN report highlighted that the “civilian casualty estimates are frequently underestimated, as many people do not have the means to seek treatment in hospitals, and families may bury their dead before reports can be collected.”

The world body also emphasized that all parties in a conflict are “bound by international humanitarian law to do everything in their power to avoid civilian causalities.”

In addition, the OCHA said the violence in Yemen and the Saudi airstrikes continue to hamper humanitarian access to the affected areas, though “partners are working to import critical supplies – mainly to support hospital services – and deploy emergency medical teams.”

Saudi Arabia’s air campaign against Yemen started on March 26 without a UN mandate in a bid to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Ansarullah fighters have taken over state matters, citing the former Hadi government’s inability to properly run the affairs of the country and contain terror and corruption.

In February, Hadi fled the capital, Sana’a, to the southern city of Aden, where he sought to set up a rival base. Hadi had stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by Houthi revolutionaries. The then parliament, however, rejected his resignation, which he later withdrew in Aden.

Popular committees, supported by Ansarullah, are now advancing southward while they have also stepped up the fight against al-Qaeda terrorists and secured many areas.

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