Euro-Med and SAM: Civilians in Taiz under bombardment SAM
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Euro-Med and SAM: Civilians in Taiz under bombardment

  
  
  
    
25/05/2017

Fifteen Yemenis were killed and another 49 injured in Taiz, northern Yemen, when mortars and Katyusha rockets hit the city during the last three days, report the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and SAM for Rights and Liberties The attacks, apparently perpetrated by the Houthi movement and armed militias associated with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, targeted a number of densely populated residential neighborhoods. According to witnesses, Katyusha rockets and mortars targeted homes and overcrowded open markets in Al-Jahmalyya, Ad-Daboua, Al-Baab Al-Kabeer, Seina and AlWathaabat. All of these neighborhoods are far from front lines of fighting.

The two nonprofit human rights organizations, based in Geneva, confirmed that the number of deaths is likely to increase, in light of the serious nature of the injuries and the lack of adequately equipped hospitals due to the siege imposed by the Houthis on the city.

“All of the victims were civilians and passers-by who were present at the time of the shelling,” the administrator of Al-Rawdah and Al-Thawra hospitals, to which victims were transferred, reported in a statement.

An eyewitness who did not want to give his name reported, "I was with a number of journalists who were documenting the killing of a civilian and the wounding of two of his children by a shell that landed in ​​Al-Daboua area. When we took the children to Safwa Hospital, we heard another shell exploding. We rushed in that direction and saw more than nine people lying on the ground, including an amputated leg of a child.”

The rockets and mortars were likely fired from areas controlled by the Houthis, according to testimony from eyewitnesses and the type of weaponry used.

Euro-Med and SAM for Rights and Liberties warned that the use of Katyusha rockets and the deliberate targeting of civilians are a violation of international law. Katyusha rockets are inaccurate and results in indiscriminate bombardment. They flagrantly violate the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants. Article 8 (2) (i) of the of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute states that, "Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities" is a war crime