United Nations, March 5 (IANS) The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has documented a total of 3,081 civilians killed in Yemen since March 26, 2015, a UN spokesman told reporters here on Friday.
In February 2016 alone, at least 168 civilians were killed and 193 injured, around two thirds of them by the Saudi-led Arab coalition airstrikes, deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq said at a daily news briefing.
“Fighting and indiscriminate shelling by members of the Popular Committees affiliated with the Houthis and allied army units loyal to former president Saleh resulted in an additional 49 civilian casualties during February, mostly in Taizz, Ibb and Al Jawf,” Haq was quoted by Xinhua.
“There have also been worrying allegations, which the Human Rights Office is still working to verify, that coalition forces dropped cluster bombs on a mountainous area to the south of the Amran cement factory, where a military unit loyal to the Houthis appears to have been the target,” he said.
Stephen O’Brien, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said on Thursday that since the start of the conflict in Yemen, more than 2,000 children have been killed and injured during the fightings, including more than 90 deaths this year alone.
The Saudi-led coalition started daily air bombing on the Shiite Houthi rebels and their allied forces since March 2015, vowing to drive out the rebels and retrieve Sanaa, the capital.
Yemen has been mired in an all-out civil war since September 2014, when the Shiite Houthi group backed by forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh invaded the capital Sanaa and drove President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile. The war has killed nearly 6,000 people.