Yemeni civilians killed in airstrike

Tabitha Dunn
July 21, 2017

The United Nations on Wednesday demanded media access to report on the "man-made catastrophe" in Yemen after a Saudi Arabia-led coalition blocked three foreign journalists from traveling on a U.N. aid flight to the Houthi rebel-controlled capital Sanaa.

Ben Lassoued said the journalists had secured visas from both sides of Yemen's conflict - government and Houthi rebel authorities in Sanaa - and shared their itinerary with the Saudi-led coalition.

"When there is a conflict there will be mistakes, but we account for our mistakes and apologise for them, and try to compensate those who have been hurt", he added, claiming the autocracy was also the "number one donor" for aid and development in Yemen.

Senior journalists for the BBC were prevented from going to Yemen after the Saudi-led coalition refused to allow their entry on a United Nations aid flight. They aim to restore the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

"This latest incident once again demonstrates the extreme dangers facing civilians in Yemen, particularly those attempting to flee violence, as they disproportionately bear the brunt of conflict", the statement said.

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"We have been advocating incessantly for respect of worldwide humanitarian law and protection of civilians in Yemen".

Yemen's internationally recognised government confirmed that around 20 people were killed in the al-Atera village. Their bombings have included targeting schools, hospitals and private homes.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which includes an increasingly worrisome cholera outbreak, has been characterized as the worst in the world.

From March 2015 to March 2017, the civil war, ground battles and airstrikes killed over 10,000 Yemenis, half of whom are civilians, injured about 40,000 and displaced over two million, according to humanitarian agencies.

"If there is no accountability, if groups that are fighting think they can use their political influence - and if they're powerful enough and rich enough, then they can get away with killing and injuring children, or bombing schools and hospitals - it sets a really risky precedent not just for Yemen but for conflicts around the world", Anning said.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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