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Saturday, March 19, 2016, Chaitra 5, 1422 BS, Jamadius Sani 9, 1437 Hijri


Saudi coalition ?causing most civilian casualties?: UN
Published :Saturday, 19 March, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 15

GENEVA, Mar 18: The United Nations on Friday decried the "carnage" caused by recent air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, saying the alliance was responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths in the conflict.
"Looking at the figures, it would seem that the coalition is responsible for twice as many civilian casualties as all other forces put together, virtually all as a result of air strikes," UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said.
Since the Saudi-led coalition began its air campaign in Yemen a year ago, the UN rights office said it had tallied just under 9,000 civilian casualties in the conflict, including 3,218 killed.
Zeid decried that coalition air strikes "have hit markets, hospitals, clinics, schools, factories, wedding parties, and hundreds of private residences in villages, towns and cities."
"Despite plenty of international demarches, these awful incidents continue to occur with unacceptable regularity," he said, warning that "we are possibly looking at the commission of international crimes by members of the coalition."
The United Nations on Thursday put the death toll from those strikes at 119, and Zeid's office said Friday 106 of those killed in the crowded market were civilians, including 24 children.
Meanwhile, as tribal mediation brings calm to the Saudi-Yemen border following a nearly year-long intervention led by Riyadh against Yemeni rebels, Washington has welcomed talk of an end to the coalition's major combat.
"We have expressed our concerns about the loss of innocent life in Yemen. The violence there that is plaguing that country has caught too many innocent civilians in the crossfire," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Thursday.
He said "we would welcome and do welcome" a statement from the coalition spokesman, Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri, who told AFP in an exclusive interview that the coalition is "in the end of the major combat phase". This would be followed by security stabilisation and then reconstruction, he said. The coalition intervened on March 26 last year to support President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after rebels seized large parts of Yemen including the capital Sanaa.     ?AFP









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