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Eight killed in attack on Yemen refugee camp: UN

More than 10,000 people have been killed in since March 2015 [AFP]

Date of publication: 28 January, 2019

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The shelling of a refugee camp Yemen’s northwestern Hajjah province killed eight civilians and wounded 30 others.
Eight civilians were killed after a camp for displaced people in Yemen's northwestern Hajjah province was shelled, the United Nations said on Sunday.

At least 30 others were wounded in the Saturday attack on the refugee camp which has yet to be claimed.

"Parties to the conflict are obliged to do everything possible to protect civilians," said Lise Grande, humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. "The people who have fled their home to IDP (internally displaced person) sites have lost so much already. An attack like this cannot be justified - ever."

The UN statement did not identify the source of the shelling, however Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya reported the Saudi-led coalition battling Houthi rebels in Yemen increased its airstrikes on "Houthi gatherings in the Hajjah governorate, northwest of the country on Sunday" after rebel shelling in the area.

Fears have grown for a UN-sponsored truce in the war-torn country this week, as heavy fighting broke out between government-allied troops and Houthi rebels in and around Yemen's contested port city of Hodeida.

On Sunday, the United Nations' food agency demanded access to its wheat stocks after fighting in the port city of Hodeida endangered its silos, setting two on fire.

The Red Sea mills located in eastern Hodeida appeared to have been hit by mortar fire, a UN statement said.

"This is the first time we are seeing conditions like this. We need this wheat," said Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

Stephen Anderson, World Food Programme country director, said access is needed to transport what's left.

The mills are housing 51,000 metric tons of wheat, almost a quarter of the World Food Programme's stock of wheat.

The fighting was the biggest breach yet of a fragile ceasefire in the city reached in UN-sponsored talks in Sweden last month.

The Yemen conflict has killed more than 10,000 people since a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in support of the beleaguered government in March 2015 - according to the World Health Organisation - though human rights groups say the real death toll could be five times as high.

The war has pushed 14 million Yemenis to the brink of famine in what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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