UN chief condemns deadly Saudi-led attack in Yemen

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© Reuters. Airstrike damage to a temporary detention center is seen in this still image obtained from video in Saada, Yemen, January 21, 2022. Video recorded with drone. Al Masirah TV/REUTERS TV via REUTERS This image is provided by a third party

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SAADA/NEW YORK, YEMEN (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on Friday that reportedly killed at least at least one detention center in the Houthi-controlled province of Saada. 60 people died.

A Reuters witness said several people, including African migrants, were killed in the attack. Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for Guterres, said further deadly airstrikes were reported elsewhere in Yemen, with children among the dead.

“The airstrike on telecommunications facilities in Hodeidah also severely disrupted vital internet services in much of the country,” Dujarric said in a statement. “The Secretary-General calls for prompt, effective and transparent investigations into these incidents to ensure accountability.”

Three children were reportedly killed in the western city of Hodeidah, Save the Children said in a statement.

The Saudi-led military coalition has been fighting Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group since 2015. The coalition said Friday’s reports of dozens of deaths would be investigated “using an internationally recognised independent process”.

It intensified air strikes https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/yemens-houthis-say-12-dead-saudi-led-coalition-strike-al-masirah-tv-reports-2022-01- 17 Houthi military targets it says after an unprecedented attack on coalition member United Arab Emirates https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/uae-says-missiles-drones- used -attack-some-intercepted-2022-01-20 Further missile and drone launches in Saudi cities on Monday.

“This escalation needs to stop,” Guterres said at a news conference earlier Friday.

Dujarric said Guterres reminded all parties of their obligation “to ensure that civilians are protected from the dangers posed by military operations and to observe the principles of proportionality, distinction and precaution.”

The UN Security Council issued a statement on Friday condemning the Houthi attacks on the UAE and other sites in Saudi Arabia after a closed-door meeting at the request of the UAE. The UAE joined the 15-member council this month for a two-year term.

Asked about Friday’s airstrikes in Yemen, UAE UN Ambassador Rana Nusseibeh told reporters: “The coalition is committed to respecting international law and responding appropriately in all its military operations.”

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken spoke with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud on Friday, reaffirming U.S. commitment to help Gulf allies improve their defenses and stressing the “importance of mitigating civilian harm,” the State Department said in a statement. said in a statement.

The coalition intervened after the Houthis ousted the internationally recognized government from the capital Sanaa, a conflict that has killed tens of thousands, displaced millions and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

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