DUBAI (Reuters) - A rocket attack on a busy market last week in Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city, killed at least 12 civilians and wounded over 122 others, a much higher figure than previously reported, a medical charity said on Monday.
Taiz, located some 300 km (186 miles) south of the capital Sanaa, has been devastated by more than 14-month-old war between the Iran-allied Houthis and supporters of the internationally-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Medics in Taiz said on Friday that the rocket fired that day by Yemeni Houthi forces or allied troops killed at least six civilians and wounded 18 others. The human rights minister for Hadi’s government said nine dead and 26 wounded.
But the medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Monday that hospitals it supported had “received 122 wounded patients, the vast majority of them civilians”, while 12 other people were declared dead on arrival in hospital.
MSF also said two rockets on Monday killed a mother and wounded her three children. The father was still missing, it said.
MSF did not name any party as being responsible for the violence, but said such incidents show the devastating impact of the war on civilians.
“Taiz is one front line of a brutal ongoing war in Yemen. They city is hit by shelling and gunfire on a daily basis,” MSF said in a statement. “The population lives in fear, the prospect of dying — or seeing a love one killed — ever present.”
A Saudi-led alliance intervened in the Yemen conflict in March last year to try to restore Hadi to power after the Houthis, a movement from the Zaydi branch of Shi‘ite Islam, had advanced on his temporary headquarters in Aden, forcing him to flee to Saudi Arabia.
A shaky truce between the Houthis and Hadi loyalists has repeatedly been violated by both sides since it took hold in April before U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait.
The talks have made little progress towards ending the war that has killed more than 6,200 people and displaced more than 2.5 million.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday added the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis to an annual blacklist of states and armed groups that violate children’s rights during conflict.
Saudi Arabia has rejected the report, saying it was based primarily on information supplied by its adversaries.
Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Tom Heneghan