Over 130 civilians killed in 11 days in airstrikes in Yemen: UN

Over 130 civilians killed in 11 days in airstrikes in Yemen: UN

New York, United States (Web Desk): The United Nations rights office said Monday that more than a hundred Yemeni civilians have lost their lives and dozens more sustained injuries after Saudi Arabia-led coalition intensified its air strikes in Yemen following the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

According to Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), 136 civilians and non-combatants including women and children have been killed and another 87 injured in the airstrikes in Sana’a, Sa’ada, Al Hudaydah and Taizz governorates in the period from Dec. 6 to 16.

“We urge all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, including their obligation to respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution,” Colville told the press at a regular media briefing in Geneva Tuesday, according to details available at UN Headquarters in New York.

“They should take all feasible precautions to avoid, and in any event to minimize, the impact of violence on civilians,” he stressed.

Among the incidents verify by OHCHR, four civilians were killed and four injured on 9 December when coalition airstrikes hit the official Yemen TV channel, Qanat Al Yemen, which has been under the Houthis control since September 2014.

On December 13, coalition airstrikes struck a prison building and a prison yard at a military police compound in the Shaub district of Sana’a, killing at least 45 people and injuring 53. All victims were reported to be detainees and said to belong to resistance forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The airstrikes also claimed the lives of a number of children.

On December 16, nine children and one woman returning home from a wedding party were killed in coalition airstrikes in Marib governorate and another 14 children died when airstrikes hit a farmhouse in Al Hudaydah governorate.

Also at the briefing, the OHCHR spokesperson expressed concern over reported recent violations by Houthis against members of former President Saleh’s political party, the General People’s Congress (GPC) including attacks and arbitrary detentions.

“There have also been unconfirmed reports of summary killings and detention of people affiliated to the GPC, although verification of these reports by our Office has been difficult as witnesses fear possible repercussion from the Houthis,” Colville said.

Since the eruption of violence in Yemen in March 2015 and as of December 14, the UN rights office has documented total of 5558 civilians killed and 9,065 injured.