Houthis and Hadi loyalists battle for control of Aden

Official says hospitals in southern Yemeni port city can no longer cope with increasing number of casualties.

    Battles between forces loyal to Yemeni  President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels for control of the southern Yemeni city of Aden is taking a heavy toll on civilians.

    The city, a last foothold of supporters of Hadi, has seen more than a week of clashes between the rival sides.

    According to the director of Aden's health department, Al-Khedar Lassouar, fighting has left at least 185 people dead and more than 1,200 wounded, including many civilians, since March 26

    The toll does not include victims among the Houthi rebels and their allies who do not take their casualties to public hospitals, he said on Saturday. It also excludes victims of Saudi-led air raids that have been pounding rebel positions around the country since March 26 to try to prevent the fall of Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh, he added.

    Lassouar called on international organisations and Arab states participating in the coalition to provide emergency medical assistance to hospitals in Aden.

    "Medicine stocks are exhausted and hospitals can no longer cope with the increasing number of victims," he said.

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    Houthis and their allies withdrew from key areas in Aden's Crater neighbourhood on Friday, including a presidential residence that they seized a day earlier, but maintained control over two streets in the district.

    Basharaheel Hisham, deputy editor-in-chief of Al-Ayyam newspaper, told Al Jazeera that Houthi fighters were using high buildings in the area they hold to station snipers, which he  accused of targeting and killing civilians. 

    Hisham also said that some districts have been cut off from water supplies, power and medical treatment. 

    The UN Security Council is set to meet on Saturday to discuss a Russian proposal for "humanitarian pauses" in Saudi-led air strikes, which have targeted Houthi rebels over the past nine days.

    UN aid chief Valerie Amos said on Thursday she was "extremely concerned" about civilian deaths after agencies reported that 519 people had been killed and nearly 1,700 injured in two weeks of fighting.

    Infographic: Who's for and against military action in Yemen [Al Jazeera]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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