Saudi Regime Prevents UN Plane from Flying to Yemen

Saudi Regime Prevents UN Plane from Flying to Yemen

At least 20 civilians including women and children died in an air strike on the city of Taiz in southern Yemen, the United Nations said on Wednesday, condemning the attack.

Although the UNHCR said the number of civilian casualties is still being verified, initial reports point to "at least 20 deaths, including that of women and children".

"Injuries have also been reported with a number also taken to nearby hospitals for treatment", the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said in a statement.

Ben Lassoued said the journalists had secured visas from both sides of Yemen's conflict - government and rebel authorities - and shared their itinerary with the Saudi-led coalition.

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"This latest incident once again demonstrates the extreme dangers facing civilians in Yemen, particularly those attempting to flee violence, as they disproportionately bear the brunt of conflict", UNHCR said.

The UNHCR statement said more than half a million civilians, 27 per cent of Yemen's internally displaced people (IDPs), originate from the governeorate of Taez.

Judges found that the Saudi-led coalition was "not deliberately targeting civilians" and alleged massacres were under investigation, concluding that it had not been established that there was "a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of worldwide humanitarian law".

The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch, seen by the United States as the global terror network's most risky branch, has exploited years of deadly conflict between Yemen's government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in Shabwa and Abyan provinces.

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"A peaceful political solution to resolve the conflict in Yemen is urgently needed to end civilian suffering", it said.

The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 8,000 people have been killed in Yemen's conflict, majority civilians, since the intervention.

Yemen has been locked in a power struggle between President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi and Iran-allied Houthi rebels since 2014.

Saudi Arabia is using British-manufactured weapons in the offensive, sparking failed legal challenge by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade in the High Court.

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Apart from this, the Centre will also introduce 16 new bills in both the houses of the Parliament for consideration and passing. A total of 18 bills has been listed for passage in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

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