GENEVA // At least 10 civilians, six of them children, were killed when an artillery shell hit a busy street near a popular market in Taei in southern Yemen, the UN said on Tuesday.
The United Nations rights office also said 17 people, including six children and three women, were injured in the attack on Monday evening in the Bir Basha area of Taiz, allegedly carried out by affiliates of the Houthi rebels.
UN rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said the artillery shell fired on Monday appeared to have come from the al-Taiziyah district, where the Popular Committees affiliated with the Houthis and army units loyal to Saleh are positioned.
He said cited witnesses saying that “the street where the market was located was crowded with people at the time of the attack”.
The witnesses, who spoke with UN rights office staff, had insisted “there had not been any armed confrontations between warring parties in the Bir Basha area prior to this terrible incident”, he said.
Taiz is Yemen’s third largest city, and is almost completely surrounded by the Iran-backed Shiite rebels and their allies, backers of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
For months, forces loyal to the internationally recognised government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi have been trying to break the rebel grip on Taiz.
The UN says the conflict has killed more than 6,600 people and displaced at least three million since a Saudi-led Arab coalition backing Hadi’s government launched operations in March 2015.
Mr Colville said that from March last year through to September this year, 4,014 civilians had died, and nearly 7,000 had been injured.
Casualties had climbed steeply in August and September following the collapse of the ceasefire, he said.
* Agence France-Presse