Yemen conflict: UN criticises Saudi civilian bombings 

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May 10,New York: The United Nations representative in Yemen has said that the Saudi-led coalition is bombing “effectively, trapped civilians”.Civilians in the northern city of Saada are struggling to flee Saudi-led coalition air strikes targeting Houthi rebels, reports and aid workers say.The UN also warned that the  indiscriminate bombing of populated areas is against international law.

Air strikes have killed at least 1,400, more than half civilians, the UN says.Air strikes also targeted the home of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital, Sanaa, early on Sunday. The former president is said to be unharmed.Mr Saleh is allied with the Houthi rebels – who overran Sanaa from their base in north Yemen last year and now control much of the country.The UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen, Johannes Van Der Klauuw, said he was “deeply concerned” by the impact of the latest strikes on the north.

“Many civilians are effectively trapped in Saada” because of fuel shortages, he said.The Saudi-led coalition says it regards Saada a “military zone”. On Friday it dropped leaflets warning residents to leave.Mr Van Der Klauuw said that the decision to target the entire province “will put countless civilians at risk”.

Teresa Sancristoval, who works for the medical charity MSF at Saada’s hospital, described intense bombing on Friday night, with reports of up to 140 strikes hitting the city in total.She said her team had been treating women who were in labour, but five of them fled because of the intensity of the air strikes.The Saudis have accused the Houthi rebels of hiding troops and weapons in civilian areas to prevent them being targeted by air strikes.

The Oslo Times

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