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At least 28 dead in strikes on Yemen's Hudaida: medics

Gulf Arab Region | 2018-08-03 00:13:19
At least 28 dead in strikes on Yemen's Hudaida: medics
At least 28 people were killed Thursday in an air strike outside a hospital and the bombardment of a fish market in Yemen's rebel-held port city Hudaida, medics and witnesses said.

Yemeni government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition have been conducting an offensive to capture Hudaida from Iran-backed Houthi rebels, but announced they were pausing the assault to give U.N. mediation efforts a chance.

Strikes have picked up again around Hudaida since the Saudis last week said that two oil tankers operated by one of the kingdom's companies were attacked in the waters of the Red Sea.

Rebel-run media outlets accused the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out the two attacks Thursday, but there was no immediate response from the alliance headed by Riyadh.

The air raid hit at the entrance to Hudaida's main Al-Thawra hospital, one of the busiest medical facilities in conflict-wracked Yemen.

The pro-Houthi Al-Masirah television channel put the death toll from that strike alone at "30 dead" and launched an appeal for blood donations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen said it was "sending surgical material enough to treat 50 severely wounded people to the (ICRC) supported Al-Thawra Hospital in Hudaida after vicinity targeted".

On June 13, Saudi Arabia and its allies in a pro-government coalition launched a major offensive to retake Hudaida, through which 70 percent of Yemen's food imports flow.

The fighting around Hodeida has raised U.N. fears of a new humanitarian catastrophe in a country already standing at the brink of famine and gripped by a deadly cholera epidemic.

The United Arab Emirates, part of a Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni government, said on July 1 that it had suspended an offensive to take the port city to allow time for U.N. peace efforts.

The Yemeni authorities and their backers are demanding that the Houthis withdraw from Hudaida and that the government retakes control.

U.N. envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths has been pushing for a deal which envisions the rebels ceding control of Hudaida port to a U.N.-supervised committee.

Saudi Arabia and its allies joined Yemeni President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi's fight against the Houthis in 2015.

Yemen's war has killed nearly 10,000 people and triggered what the UN calls the world's largest single humanitarian crisis, with more than eight million Yemenis at risk of starvation.
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