Yemen: six women and a girl killed by a raid on the women’s prison of Taiz

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Six Yemeni detained women and a girl who was visiting her mother were killed by a raid on the women’s prison in the city of Taiz, in an attack attributed to the Houthi, according to the internationally recognized Yemeni government and foreign activists. The Yemeni government news agency, Saba, confirmed today that the Houthi rebels targeted the female section of the central Taiz prison with mortar rounds and light artillery. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said in a tweet that the al-Thawra general hospital in which it operates received the bodies of six women and a girl who had been killed in an attack on central Taiz prison last night.

The International Committee of the Red Cross also condemned the attack stressing that prisons and detainees are protected by international humanitarian law and cannot become a target during the conflicts. “We are in contact with the competent Yemeni authorities to evaluate the humanitarian situation”. The Red Cross Committee added. The city of Taiz, surrounded by mountains and inhabited by about 600,000 people, is under the control of government forces, but rebels have surrounded it for years and bombed it repeatedly. The city, in southwestern Yemen, is one of the cities most affected by the war in the impoverished country since the beginning of the conflict in 2014 between the Iranian-backed Houthi militias and government forces supported by a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in Yemen since the coalition operations began, while its health sector has collapsed, amid severe drug shortages and the spread of diseases such as cholera that have caused hundreds of deaths, while millions of people live on the verge of hunger. To date, Yemen has not recorded any cases of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization, but there is great concern that the epidemic, if it reaches the poorest countries of the Arabian Peninsula, will cause a humanitarian catastrophe with frightening reach. This is why the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, previously called for a global humanitarian truce because the only war worth fighting today is that against a common enemy: COVID-19.

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