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Houthi-Saleh forces ‘killed 30 in illegal Yemen shelling’

In this November 17, 2016 photo, pro-government fighters in Yemen carry a comrade injured during fighting against Houthis in the southwestern city of Taiz. Indiscriminate shelling of populated neighborhoods of Taiz by Houthi militia and forces loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh have killed at least 30 civilians and wounded more than 160 in May. (Reuters file photo)

BEIRUT: Houthi militia and forces loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh repeatedly and indiscriminately shelled populated neighborhoods of Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city, in violation of the laws of war, a rights group said on Wednesday.
At least 30 civilians died and more than 160 were injured in the artillery bombardment over a 10-day period in May.
“Houthi-Saleh forces’ shelling of populated areas of Taiz has taken a terrible toll on civilians,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the group’s Middle East director. “Their commanders should immediately halt these indiscriminate attacks.”
Houthi-Saleh forces have repeatedly fired mortar bombs and artillery shells from an elevated area in Al-Hawban district indiscriminately into populated areas in Taiz over the past two years, Human Rights Watch said.
The government-affiliated forces of internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi have controlled most of Taiz since March 2016. Local monitors, including one in Al-Hawban district, have reported numerous indiscriminate attacks by Houthi-Saleh forces into the city.
Mwatana, a leading Yemeni human rights organization, said Houthi-Saleh forces were responsible for most of the dozens of indiscriminate shelling incidents they documented in Taiz between April 2015 and March 2016.
A local activist, Faris Al-Obidi, prepared a list of casualties from attacks over the three days in May when shelling in Taiz was particularly heavy, after speaking with witnesses and survivors and consulting logs at Taiz’s three hospitals. The list, which he shared with Human Rights Watch, had the names, ages and dates of injuries for 54 civilians. Among the 14 dead were three children and two women.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Dumaini, technical director at Al-Thawra, Taiz city’s main hospital, said the hospital received 58 war-wounded civilians between May 20 and 26, including 20 children, plus three people who died before arrival, including a child. He said the vast majority of these casualties were from shelling.
Dr. Walid Al-Watiri, the laboratory chief at Al-Safwa Hospital, said Al-Safwa, Al-Thawra, and Al-Rawda hospitals received the bodies of 31 people, including six children, and another 167 wounded, including 60 children, over a 10-day period.
The renewed shelling occurred after local government-affiliated forces pushed Houthi-Saleh forces back from several locations east of the city, said a local activist, Maher Al-Absi.
The areas hit on May 21 were about 800 meters from the front lines while those hit on May 22 and 23 were in the middle of the city, far from the front lines, in “very crowded civilian places,” Al-Absi said.
Witnesses to the six attacks in Taiz that Human Rights Watch documented said no government-aligned military forces were in those areas at the time of the attacks.
Human Rights Watch has previously documented Houthi-Saleh indiscriminate shelling in Taiz. In June 2016, shelling killed at least 18 civilians and wounded 68 others over three days, hitting markets crowded with people shopping for Ramadan, according to the UN.
In August 2015, three Houthi-Saleh attacks on Taiz killed at least 14 civilians, including five women and five children. In February 2017, activists in Taiz provided the rights group with a list of dozens of attacks on Taiz since March 2015 that had resulted in scores of civilian casualties.

BEIRUT: Houthi militia and forces loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh repeatedly and indiscriminately shelled populated neighborhoods of Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city, in violation of the laws of war, a rights group said on Wednesday.
At least 30 civilians died and more than 160 were injured in the artillery bombardment over a 10-day period in May.
“Houthi-Saleh forces’ shelling of populated areas of Taiz has taken a terrible toll on civilians,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the group’s Middle East director. “Their commanders should immediately halt these indiscriminate attacks.”
Houthi-Saleh forces have repeatedly fired mortar bombs and artillery shells from an elevated area in Al-Hawban district indiscriminately into populated areas in Taiz over the past two years, Human Rights Watch said.
The government-affiliated forces of internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi have controlled most of Taiz since March 2016. Local monitors, including one in Al-Hawban district, have reported numerous indiscriminate attacks by Houthi-Saleh forces into the city.
Mwatana, a leading Yemeni human rights organization, said Houthi-Saleh forces were responsible for most of the dozens of indiscriminate shelling incidents they documented in Taiz between April 2015 and March 2016.
A local activist, Faris Al-Obidi, prepared a list of casualties from attacks over the three days in May when shelling in Taiz was particularly heavy, after speaking with witnesses and survivors and consulting logs at Taiz’s three hospitals. The list, which he shared with Human Rights Watch, had the names, ages and dates of injuries for 54 civilians. Among the 14 dead were three children and two women.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Dumaini, technical director at Al-Thawra, Taiz city’s main hospital, said the hospital received 58 war-wounded civilians between May 20 and 26, including 20 children, plus three people who died before arrival, including a child. He said the vast majority of these casualties were from shelling.
Dr. Walid Al-Watiri, the laboratory chief at Al-Safwa Hospital, said Al-Safwa, Al-Thawra, and Al-Rawda hospitals received the bodies of 31 people, including six children, and another 167 wounded, including 60 children, over a 10-day period.
The renewed shelling occurred after local government-affiliated forces pushed Houthi-Saleh forces back from several locations east of the city, said a local activist, Maher Al-Absi.
The areas hit on May 21 were about 800 meters from the front lines while those hit on May 22 and 23 were in the middle of the city, far from the front lines, in “very crowded civilian places,” Al-Absi said.
Witnesses to the six attacks in Taiz that Human Rights Watch documented said no government-aligned military forces were in those areas at the time of the attacks.
Human Rights Watch has previously documented Houthi-Saleh indiscriminate shelling in Taiz. In June 2016, shelling killed at least 18 civilians and wounded 68 others over three days, hitting markets crowded with people shopping for Ramadan, according to the UN.
In August 2015, three Houthi-Saleh attacks on Taiz killed at least 14 civilians, including five women and five children. In February 2017, activists in Taiz provided the rights group with a list of dozens of attacks on Taiz since March 2015 that had resulted in scores of civilian casualties.

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