Yemen forces make gains in Taiz

Updated 25 October 2015
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Yemen forces make gains in Taiz

DUBAI: Yemeni forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi made gains on Sunday in the southwestern city of Taiz after days of battles with Houthi fighters, a local official and residents said.
The Hadi supporters, who have been backed by airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition since March, made particular progress around the presidential palace, the locals said. The complex has changed hands several times and been all but destroyed in the fighting.
Medical sources said 13 Houthi fighters were killed in the fighting in Yemen’s third largest city. So were eight fighters loyal to Hadi
Several residents said Hadi loyalists had taken control of a number of mountain peaks on the southern approach to Taiz, Yemen’s cultural capital.
Houthi gunmen prevented convoys of medical supplies from entering an enclave of Taiz, the aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres said. Residents there reported the rebels were also blocking the entry of food, water and fuel to the area, it said.
“After weeks of negotiations, we have made no progress in convincing officials of the need to provide impartial medical assistance,” MSF’s emergency manager for Yemen, Karline Kleijer, said in a statement.
A security official in Aden told Reuters on Sunday that armed tribesmen raided the central prison in Aden, killing a guard and wounding another, to free a prisoner held for an earlier attack in the city.


Migrant killed during Libya disembarkation: UN

Updated 2 min 27 sec ago

Migrant killed during Libya disembarkation: UN

  • ‘This was tragedy waiting to happen’: International Organization for Migrationspokesman Leonard Doyle
  • IOM demands ‘immediate action ... to put an end to the suffering of civilians in Libya, especially detained migrants’

GENEVA: A Sudanese man was shot and killed Thursday as he and other migrants returned to shore by the Libyan Coast Guard tried to resist being sent back to detention, the UN said.
The International Organization for Migration strongly condemned the incident and demanded that Libyan authorities investigate and bring those responsible to justice.
“This was tragedy waiting to happen,” IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle said in a statement.
“The use of live bullets against unarmed vulnerable civilians, men, women and children alike, is unacceptable under any circumstances and raises alarms over the safety of migrants and humanitarian staff,” he added.
The UN agency said its staff had been on site at the Abusitta Disembarkation point in Tripoli when as many as 103 migrants returned to shore resisted being sent back to Libyan detention centers.
When several migrants tried to run away from the guards, “armed men began shooting into the air,” and one migrant was hit by a bullet in the stomach, according to the IOM staff accounts.
“Despite immediately receiving medical aid on the spot by an IOM doctor and then being transferred to a nearby clinic, he died two hours after admission,” the agency said.
The man’s death, it said, stood as “a stark reminder of the grim conditions faced by migrants picked up by the Coast Guard after paying smugglers to take them to Europe.”
The UN and aid groups have warned that rescued migrants returned to Libya face rampant human rights abuses in both official and illegal centers in the war-ravaged country.
According to the UN, some 5,000 migrant women, children and men remain detained in inhumane conditions in Libya — more than 3,000 of them in areas of active conflict.
In June, an airstrike on the Tajoura detention center killed 53 migrants, including six children.
“That facility remains operational to this day, despite persistent calls to end the arbitrary detention of migrants,” IOM said.
“Alternatives to detention must be found,” it said, stressing that the “increasing reports of abuse and human trafficking from detention centers are truly alarming.”
IOM demanded “immediate action ... to put an end to the suffering of civilians in Libya, especially detained migrants.”