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国际英语新闻:Spotlight: Armed attacks intensify in Yemen's Hodeidah despite UN's call for de-escalation

Source: Xinhuanet    2020-12-05  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

ADEN, Yemen, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Sporadic armed attacks intensified in the country's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah despite the United Nations's repeated calls for de-escalation and protecting civilians.

Earlier in the day, a local medical official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the death toll from Thursday's shelling attack launched by the Houthi rebels against an industrial facility has risen to 10 workers.

On Thursday, a local government source said that a number of artillery and mortar shells fired indiscriminately by the Houthi rebels landed on an industrial compound in Hodeidah's southern parts.

He said that the Houthi-fired shells targeted Thabit Brothers industrial compound owned by local Yemeni investors, causing serious damage to the commercial facility's warehouses.

Hours following the attack, the United Nations' mission in Hodeidah condemned "the reported killing and injury of civilians as a result of shelling of the Thabit Brothers industrial compound" in the city, saying that "the killing of civilians must stop."

The UN mission urged the warring parties to use the mechanisms established in Stockholm two years ago to maintain the cease-fire and avoid any further suffering to the people.

"The loss of civilian life shows again the futility of the combat in the province of Hodeidah and demonstrates that humanitarian law must be respected by all parties to the conflict to spare civilians from becoming caught in the deadly violence," the UN mission said in a statement.

The attack against the private industrial compound demonstrates the urgent need to advance demilitarisation on the frontline, according to the the statement.

Last Sunday, eight Yemeni civilians were killed including women and children when Houthis indiscriminately bombed a residential area south of Hodeidah.

A number of similar shelling attacks occurred during the past weeks on various areas of Hodeidah, causing casualties among the local civilians in Hodeidah.

The United Nations said that a total of 74 civilians were killed or wounded in Hodeidah province in October as hostilities escalated.

And in late November, five children were among eight civilians killed in rebel shelling of the government-held district of Durayhmi on the Red Sea coast.

Yemen's internationally-recognized government called on the United Nations to take a firm stance against the Houthis' repeated attacks in Hodeidah.

Yemen's Minister of Information Muammar Iryani strongly condemned "the heinous terror crime committed by the Iranian-backed Houthi coup militia against the industrial compound in Hodeidah with a number of mortar shells."

The Yemeni minister called on "the United Nations, the Security Council, the Special Envoy for Yemen and the UN Mission in Hodeidah, to demonstrate a clear and firm position on this heinous crime that's added to a series of crimes committed by the Houthis."

Large areas of of Durayhmi and Tuhyata districts in Hodeidah's southern part are frequently targeted by sporadic indiscriminate shelling attacks.

The port city of Hodeidah, a vital lifeline for millions facing starvation, has seen a shaky cease-fire between the government and the Houthis since they reached a UN-sponsored truce in Stockholm in December 2018.

Last week, Head of the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah's Agreement and Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee Abhijit Guha called for restraint after a recent upsurge in serious cease-fire violations in the city.

"Now is the time to hold fire and stop a cycle of military escalations that will worsen the dire humanitarian situation on the ground," he said in a statement.

Hodeidah is under the control of the Iran-backed Houthis, while the government forces have advanced to the southern and eastern districts.

Both sides have been blaming each other for truce breaches and sporadic military escalation in the strategic city.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.


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