17 civilians killed in third attack on Yemen market

The UN considers the war in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. (File/AFP)
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Updated 26 December 2019

17 civilians killed in third attack on Yemen market

  • The UN said 12 Ethiopian migrants were among the 17 civilians killed in the incident
  • The UN says 89 civilians have either been killed or wounded in the attacks on the market

SANAA: Seventeen civilians were killed in an attack in a market in Yemen’s northern Saada governorate, the United Nations said, the third deadly assault on the same location in just over a month.
The attacks come despite relative calm in Yemen, where large-scale combat between government troops and the Iran-aligned Houthi militia has subsided.
The UN said 12 Ethiopian migrants were among the 17 civilians killed in the incident on Tuesday at the Al-Raqw market in Saada governorate, a Houthi stronghold.
At least 12 people were wounded, it said, without saying who was responsible or what weapons were used.
Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki on Thursday as saying his coalition command is investigating an attack that targeted the Houthi militia on Tuesday in Saada’s district of Monabbih. That’s the same area where Al-Raqw market exists. 
He said the attack might have resulted in “accidental losses” and “collateral damages,” adding that all the documents relating to the incident have beeb referred to the Joint Incident Assessment Team and the results of the investigation will be made public.
“We underscore the Joint Forces Command’s commitment to applying the highest standards of targeting and implementing the customary international humanitarian law in its military operations. We will take all necessary procedures pertaining to incidents to achieve the highest levels of accountability and transparency,” he said.
An attack on Al-Raqw market on November 22 killed 10 civilians, again including Ethiopian nationals, and just days later, at least another 10 civilians were killed and 22 wounded in a second such incident.
The UN says 89 civilians have either been killed or wounded in the attacks on the market. Local Houthi rebel authorities heavily restrict access to journalists and rights groups into the region of Saada, which has seen some of the war’s worst fighting.
Yemen’s conflict erupted in 2014, when the Houthis overran the capital, Sanaa, and much of the north, pushing out Yemen’s internationally recognized government and ushering in a civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people. The fighting has also left millions suffering from food and medical shortages and pushed the country to the brink of famine.
The UN considers the war in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
(With AFP and AP)


Iran records highest COVID-19 cases in over month

Updated 6 min 34 sec ago

Iran records highest COVID-19 cases in over month

  • Latest count takes the total cases identified in Iran since late February to 314,786
  • Iran made wearing masks mandatory in enclosed spaces

TEHRAN: Iran confirmed Tuesday over 2,700 new COVID-19 infections, its highest single-day count in more than a month, as the health ministry called for those without masks to be fined.
Deaths and infections from the novel coronavirus have been on a rising trajectory in the Islamic republic since hitting a months-long low in May.
This has prompted Iran to make wearing masks mandatory in enclosed spaces and reimpose restrictions lifted gradually since April to reopen the economy.
Despite the rule, people without masks can still be seen inside the capitals’ shops and banks, and state television often criticizes them for doing so.
“In the past 24 hours, new confirmed cases were reported to be 2,751,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in televised remarks.
The number is the highest since June 5, when the ministry reported 2,886 infections in one day.
The latest count takes the total cases identified in Iran since late February to 314,786, Lari added.
Another 212 people died from the virus during the past 24 hours, bringing the overall toll to 17,617.
Iran’s deputy health minister called for those who fail to obey the mask rules to be fined, as the only penalty currently in place is the refusal of service in public places.
“Deterrent methods must naturally be used, one of which is fining those not wearing masks,” ISNA news agency quoted Iraj Harirchi as saying.
But those “financially unable to buy masks must be exempted,” he added, without elaborating how that could be determined.
Iran has suffered a sharp economic downturn since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear agreement in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation.
It has seen a drop in non-oil exports compounded by a tumbling currency and runaway inflation, piling new pressure on those already dependent on government cash handouts.
Masks in Iran cost from about 15 US cents for simple surgical ones to 68 cents for multilayered ones with respirators, while the minimum wage is currently $2.60 per day.