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Yemen violence claims 549 lives since March 19 — UN

April 06, 2015, 8:42 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

This includes at least 217 civilian deaths

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UNITED NATIONS, April 6. /TASS/. The death toll in hostilities and acts of violence in Yemen has reached 549 since 19 March, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said in a report.

"According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 549 people have been killed and 1,707 injured in violence in Yemen since 19 March. This includes at least 217 civilian deaths and 516 civilian injuries, many of which occurred in bombings against two mosques in Sana’a on 20 March," the report said.

"Civilian casualty estimates are frequently underestimated, as many people do not have the means to seek treatment in hospitals, and families may bury their dead before reports can be collected. All parties to conflict are bound by international humanitarian law to do everything in their power to avoid civilian casualties," it said.

"Ongoing conflict and airstrikes continue to restrict humanitarian access. Partners are working to import critical supplies - mainly to support hospital services - and deploy emergency medical teams. Authorization from parties to conflict is urgently required to enable these activities," the report said.

A draft UN Security Council resolution presented on Saturday by Russia is designed to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen. The document envisions mandatory pauses in bombings of the country to render aid to the population and evacuate people. Another document submitted by the Gulf countries is also being considered by the Security Council. The text of a future resolution is expected to be agreed Monday.

Saudi Arabia’s Air Force, supported by Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, started overnight to March 26 an operation codenamed Decisive Storm against Shiite rebels from the Ansar Allah movement (Houthis) who established control over a considerable part of Yemen’s territory. The Arab coalition has been joined by Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Sudan.

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