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Iran Press TV

Infighting kills 40, wounds 260 in Yemen's Aden: UN

Iran Press TV

Sun Aug 11, 2019 01:28PM

The United Nations (UN) says at least 40 people have been killed and 260 others wounded in Yemen's southern port city of Aden during infighting between groups of militia receiving support from either Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"Scores of civilians have been killed and wounded since August 8 when fighting broke out in the city of Aden. Preliminary reports indicate that as many as 40 people have been killed and 260 injured," UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Lise Grande said in a statement on Sunday.

"It is heart-breaking that during Eid al-Adha, families are mourning the death of their loved ones instead of celebrating together in peace and harmony," Grande further said. "Our main concern right now is to dispatch medical teams to rescue the injured."

She said civilians "need to be able to move freely and safely to secure the things they need to survive," an indication that movement is restricted in the city.

The infighting erupted on Wednesday, when a group of separatist militia in southern Yemen were attending a funeral for dozens of fellows, including a senior militant commander who had been killed in a missile attack by Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The separatists, which are backed by the UAE and are known as the Southern Transitional Council (STC), accused a political party allied to Saudi-backed forces of complicity in the missile attack and clashes broke out between the sides.

The UAE is Saudi Arabia's major partner in the war on Yemen, which started in 2015 to eliminate the Houthis, and until now, the militia groups on the ground had been fighting alongside each other.

The war was also launched to restore the former regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power in Yemen.

For the past four years, Hadi, who lives in Riyadh, has based his "government" in Aden, describing it as Yemen's "temporary capital."

The Saudi-led war in his support has achieved neither of its goals, and the recent heavy infighting is the first of its magnitude since the UAE announced a plan to effectively withdraw its forces from Yemen in July. The decision was apparently taken because the UAE came to the conclusion that the war – a brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – is unwinnable.

The Saudi-led coalition has called for a truce and an "urgent meeting" between the warring parties, a call that was initially welcomed by both sides.

However, STC's vice president Hani bin Breik said on Sunday that his group would not "negotiate under threat."

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

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