Number of civilian casualties in Yemen skyrockets in the past month

Published September 25th, 2016 - 04:00 GMT
A Yemeni man sits on the rubble as people search for suvivors in houses destroyed by airstrikes. (AFP/File)
A Yemeni man sits on the rubble as people search for suvivors in houses destroyed by airstrikes. (AFP/File)

At least 180 civilians were killed last month in war-torn Yemen, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said.

"We note with deep concern the sharp increase in civilian casualties since the suspension of peace talks, with 180 people killed and 268 injured in August," Cecile Pouilly, a spokeswoman for the UN agency, said Friday.

"In total, 3,980 civilians have been killed and 6,909 injured between 26 March 2015 and 22 September 2016."

Pouilly said the August toll marks a %40 increase compared to the number of casualties in July, when 60 civilians were killed.

"In the light of the high civilian casualty numbers and the terrible suffering of the civilian population, we urge all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, including their obligation to respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution," she said.

"We reiterate our call for the setting up of an international and independent investigative body," Pouilly said.

Yemen has been racked by chaos since late 2014, when Houthi rebels overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.

The conflict escalated in March of last year when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and restoring Hadi's government.

Two rounds of earlier peace talks failed to end the conflict, in which thousands of Yemenis have been killed and more than three million forced to flee their homes.

By Zakaria al-Kamali

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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