At least eight people have been killed in shelling of an industrial compound in Yemen’s strategic port of Hodeidah, according to the government which blamed Houthi rebels for the attack.
Yemeni Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani condemned the “ugly terrorist attack” on the Thabit Brothers industrial compound that took place on Thursday, according to Yemen’s official Saba news agency.
He said eight workers were killed and 13 injured. Medical sources told AFP news agency there were at least 10 deaths.
Fighting has increased in and around the lifeline port of the western city, where a fragile United Nations-brokered truce has largely averted major battles between the government, backed by a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition, and the Iran-backed Houthi fighters.
“The killing of civilians must stop,” the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) said, urging all parties to maintain the truce.
“In addition to being a working factory servicing the population and providing employment, the site of the industrial complex is being considered as one of the possible locations of an UNMHA office,” it said.
The UN said 74 civilians were killed or wounded in Hodeidah province in October as hostilities escalated.
And in late November, five children were among eight civilians killed in shelling of the government-held district of Al-Durayhimi on the Red Sea coast.
The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Houthi group, which had captured the capital, Sanaa, a year earlier.
Since then, more than 100,000 people – civilians and fighters – have been killed.
The UN describes Yemen as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with 80 percent of the country’s 30 million people in need of help.
On Thursday, the UN said malnutrition has now hit record levels, narrowing the window of opportunity to prevent a famine as the coronavirus and funding shortfalls threaten a humanitarian perfect storm.