A six-year-old Yemeni boy died on Sunday after Houthi shelling of a residential area in the besieged city of Taiz. A total of 13 children were injured in an attack…reports Asian Lite News
A six-year-old Yemeni boy died on Sunday after Houthi shelling of a residential area in the besieged city of Taiz. A total of 13 children were injured in an attack.
“Mortar shells were fired randomly by the Houthis on residential houses of a densely populated neighbourhood in the southwestern part of Taiz during the past hours,” the official said.
“A total of 13 children were injured as a result of the shells that landed indiscriminately on the residential area controlled by the government,” he said.
The attack coincided with the arrival of a high-ranking UN delegation to Taiz, the third largest city in Yemen, to push the warring sides in Yemen to extend the truce that expires on August 2.
During the past days, Yemen’s Houthis carried out a series of attacks against various areas of the war-ravaged Arab country, as UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg stepped up his effort to extend the Yemeni truce.
Several rounds of negotiations between the government and the Houthis were conducted under the auspices of the UN but failed to achieve any progress toward ending Yemen’s years-long military conflict.
The Houthi militia backed by Iran set new conditions to accept the UN proposal to extend the truce with the Saudi Arabia-led coalition for another six months.
As hopes for truce extension begin to fade, political observers said that the possible failure to break the years-long political stalemate on Yemen’s issue will badly affect the Yemeni people aspiring for permanent peace.
The truce in Yemen, first enforced on April 2 and renewed for another two months on June 2, will expire on August 2.
“An extended and expanded truce will increase the benefits to the Yemeni people,” Grundberg’s office said in a statement, adding that the truce will also provide a platform to build more confidence between the parties and start serious discussions on economic priorities.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed government out of the capital Sanaa.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million, and pushed the poor Arab country to the brink of starvation.
Hours after the shelling, dozens of people in Taiz staged a small protest in front of a local hotel that hosts the head of the UN-facilitated military coordination committee, Brig. Gen. Antony Hayward, and called him and the UN to denounce the Houthi attacks on civilians.
“This heinous crime, during UN truce & presence of a UN delegation in Taiz to monitor truce, confirms Houthi terrorist militia’s defiance of intl (sic) community & indifference to intl de-escalation calls & efforts to alleviate human suffering, & put an end to civilians’ suffering,” Yemen’s Information Minister Muammar Al-Eryani tweeted.
Abdul Baset Al-Qaedi, undersecretary at Yemen’s Ministry of Information, said the sounds of explosions from Houthi attacks on the city have not stopped since the beginning of the truce, accusing the Houthis of exploiting the truce to attack Taiz.
“The killing continues on a daily basis, and this child is one of the victims of the shelling of the criminal Houthi militia,” Al-Qaedi said.
Save the Children said in a statement that some of the wounded children are under five, urging warring factions in Yemen to avoid targeting children during the conflict.
“Our team reported that some of the kids are in critical conditions and most of them are under five years old,” the international aid organization said.
“It’s the warring parties’ responsibility to protect children and spare them this horror at all costs.”