Nearly 2,000 civilians killed in Yemen: UN
Hospital workers treat a patient brought in for wounds suffered during clashes with Houthi rebels. (AFP/File)
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Nearly 2,000 civilians have been killed in fighting between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen’s president-in-exile, the UN said on Tuesday.
"We urge all parties, again, to ensure that they at all times distinguish between civilian and military targets," Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the UN’s human rights agency, said at a news conference in Geneva.
As well as 1,916 deaths, the UN said 4,186 civilians have been wounded since March 26 - when a Saudi-led air campaign against the Houthis began - and nearly 100,000 refugees have fled the country.
"We are also deeply concerned about attacks against civilian infrastructure, including places of worship, hospitals and schools," Pouilly added.
Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN’s refugee agency, said the emergency response to the refugees and people displaced inside Yemen was seriously underfunded.
“Some 1.2 million internally displaced people and approximately 250,000 refugees continue to need assistance in extremely challenging conditions with severely restricted access," he said.
Last September, Shia Houthi militias overran Yemen’s capital Sanaa and extended their control over the rest of the country, taking the port city of Aden in April.
Forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi - who remains in exile in Saudi Arabia - have since clawed back territory, backed by a military alliance of Sunni Gulf states.