Sanaa: Dozens of civilians were killed in strikes on Yemen’s embattled Hodeida province, the United Nations said Thursday, as Huthi rebels blamed air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said at least 21 civilians were killed and 10 injured in strikes Wednesday that hit a vegetable packaging facility in Al-Masudi in Bait al-Faqih.
Another three people were killed and six wounded in strikes that hit three vehicles in Al-Hali district.
“Civilians are paying a shocking price because of this conflict,” said Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.
“This is the third time this month that fighting has caused mass casualties in Hodeida” in western Yemen, she added.
OCHA did not specify the type of strikes that took place Wednesday, but Yemeni rebels said they were air raids by the military coalition fighting alongside the government.
Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government after the Iran-aligned Huthis ousted it from the capital Sanaa and took swathes of territory.
The coalition has used air power to oust the rebels from much of Yemen, but the Huthis have held onto Sanaa and the key Red Sea port of Hodeida.
Following the collapse of UN-backed talks in September, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Hodeida city and its Red Sea port.
The fighting has since eased and the coalition has focused its raids on the city limits and other parts of the surrounding province.
The coalition has drawn heavy UN criticism for the high civilian death toll from its campaign in Yemen.
Yemen’s war has left almost 10,000 people dead since the coalition intervened, and sparked what the UN has labelled the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
[source_without_link] Agence France-Presse[/source_without_link]