UN slams airstrike on Yemen hospital
The United Nations has condemned a deadly airstrike by the Yemeni regime on a hospital in southern Yemen where government forces have stepped up attacks backed by US airstrikes against alleged armed groups.
The UN deplored the latest attack on Al-Razi hospital in Abyan in south Yemen, where at least seven civilians were killed.
“The targeting of civilians and the obstruction of humanitarian aid constitute a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law,” the Associated Press quoted a UN statement as saying on Wednesday.
The ground and air offensive unfolded on Wednesday in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, where the armed groups seized control of its capital city and surrounding towns earlier this year.
A medical official in Abyan, which has become a flashpoint for fierce fighting between the US-backed government forces and alleged al-Qaeda-linked militants, said Asmaa Hamza, a 14-year-old girl, was killed in Wednesday’s military airstrike on al-Razi hospital.
It was the second attack on the same hospital in the town of Jaar in less than 48 hours, witnesses said, adding that the Wednesday airstrikes on Jaar also targeted a high school, a hotel, residential buildings and a police station, near areas where the military believes “militants” are seeking refuge.
Airstrikes in the area wounded at least 20 civilians, several of whom being seriously injured, according to a hospital official.
The Yemeni regime claims it launched the attacks against al-Qaeda militants in the south.
This comes as anti-government uprisings against the rule of Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh have been raging across Yemen since January.
Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for regular demonstrations in Yemen’s major cities, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding Saleh’s ouster.
Hundreds of people have been killed and many more injured during the unrest as a result of the brutal crackdown on anti-government protests by military forces and loosely-organized individuals loyal to Saleh.
Protesters insist that the US and Saudi Arabia are making efforts to save the ailing regime of Saleh.
Saleh and five other high-ranking officials have fled to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, following a rocket attack on the Yemeni presidential palace in Sana’a on June 3.