UN demands inquiry into Saudi bombing of Yemeni market

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Yemen
Thursday, 17 March 2016


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for an investigation into recent Saudi aerial attacks on a crowded marketplace in Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah, which claimed more than 100 lives.

“The secretary general condemns the airstrikes that hit al-Khamis market in Mastaba district in the Hajjah Province of Yemen yesterday,” Ban’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.

“This incident is one of the deadliest -- reportedly killing and wounding scores of civilians, including women and children -- since the start of the conflict,” the UN chief complained.

“This is the second major incident of this kind in just over two weeks,” the statement added, stressing that attacks on civilian areas like markets are a flagrant violation of international law.

At least 107 people, including women and children, lost their lives and dozens more sustained injuries on Tuesday, when Saudi military aircraft bombarded the al-Khamis market, approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.

Meanwhile, medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders announced in a statement that its physicians had treated more than 40 people injured in the market bombing, including two people who succumbed to their injuries on the way to hospital.

On Wednesday, Saudi warplanes struck Harib Bihan in Yemen’s west-central province of Ma'rib, destroying the main water reservoir in the town. No immediate report of casualties was available.

Saudi fighter jets also carried out separate airborne attacks against the Sirwah district in the same province as well as Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Mokha, situated about 346 kilometers (214 miles) south of Sana’a. There were no reports of possible casualties and the extent of the damage caused.

An unmanned Saudi aerial vehicle also fired several missiles into the strategic Dhubab district in the southwestern Yemeni province of Ta’izz. There were no reports of casualties and of the extent of damage there.

Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March last year. The Saudi military strikes were launched purportedly to undermine the Ansarullah movement and bring former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power.

At least 8,400 people, among them 2,236 children, have reportedly been killed and 16,015 others injured, since March 2015. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

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