News ID: 17975
Publish Date: 07 October 2015 - 11:46
LHVnews: Britain is being urged to halt the supply of weapons to its ally Saudi Arabia in the light of evidence that civilians are being killed in Saudi-led attacks on Yemen.

Amnesty International has warned that "damning evidence of war crimes” highlights the urgent need for an independent investigation of violations and for the suspension of transfer of arms used in the attacks.

Amnesty said it found a pattern of "appalling disregard” for civilian lives by the Saudi-led coalition in an investigation of 13 air strikes in north-eastern Saada governorate during May, June and July: these killed some 100 civilians – including 59 children and 22 women and injured a further 56, including 18 children.

"In at least four of the airstrikes investigated … homes attacked were struck more than once, suggesting that they had been the intended targets despite no evidence they were being used for military purposes,” it said.

The complexities of the war in Yemen – overshadowed by the larger and more familiar conflict in Syria – were underlined again on Tuesday when a new affiliate of ISIS claimed responsibility for four suicide bombings in the port city of Aden that killed at least 15 people including Saudi, Emirati and Yemeni troops.

Since last March coalition air strikes have hit homes, schools, markets and other civilian infrastructure, as well as miltiary objectives.

UN efforts to broker negotiations between the combatants are due to resume in the next couple of weeks, while NGOs warn of a looming disaster in the poorest country in the Persian  Gulf and the wider Arab world.

According to the UN, the Yemen conflict has killed about 5,000 people and wounded 25,000, among them many civilians. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said more than 114,000 people had fled and predicted the figure could reach 200,000 by the end of 2016, the Guardian reported.

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