Yemen Death Toll Near 2,000

Yemen Death Toll Near 2,000Yemen Death Toll Near 2,000

The World Health Organization (WHO), which compiles figures on casualties in Yemen, said its latest figures show that nearly 2,000 people had been killed between March 19 and May 22. It said 7,870 people were injured in the same period.

WHO said in a statement that 1,942 people had been killed in the fighting since March, including “hundreds of women and children,” Reuters reported.

Out of a population of 24 million, the organization said, some 8.6 million people “are in urgent need of medical help,” both for war-related injuries and for common medical conditions.

Hospitals around the country have closed because of shortages of staff members and fuel, and medicines for diabetes, cancer and hypertension are no longer available. The organization added that “outbreaks of polio and measles are also serious risks.”

A Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes in Yemen on March 26 in a campaign to restore Yemen’s fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power. He fled in March, after Houthis took control of the capital Sanaa in September and advanced into central and south Yemen.

UN-sponsored peace talks set to be held in Geneva on May 28 were postponed because of the heavy fighting.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had said the meetings were aimed to restore momentum toward a Yemeni-led political transition process.

More than 545,000 people have been displaced in the Yemeni conflict and although some aid trickled during a five-day ceasefire two weeks ago, people still lack basic needs, including water, electricity and fuel.

  Aden, Ad Dali Attacked

Heavy fighting erupted in southern Yemen near Aden airport on Friday when a militant attacked Houthi forces in a push to drive Houthis from the district, residents and fighters said.

Saudi-led forces reportedly made four airstrikes near the airport, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Saudi-led warplanes also staged a fresh wave of airstrikes over Yemen’s southern Ad Dali city on Friday. Warplanes struck two sites in Damt city in the province, according to security sources and eyewitnesses.

Two bridges were destroyed in the attacks, but no information was available about casualties.

Intense air raids by the Saudi-led alliance were also reported overnight by residents of Saada Province, which borders Saudi Arabia in northwestern Yemen.

Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh are concentrated around Aden’s districts of Khor Maksar, Crater and Moalla.

The fighting in Khor Maksar has killed four southern militia fighters so far, the militia source said. The militias, who call themselves the Southern Resistance, are a loosely allied group of fighters who took up arms against the Houthis.