At least 30 civilians killed ,over 160 injured by Houthi-Saleh’s artillery attack on Taiz in May: HRW
Human Rights Watch says shelling of Houthi-Saleh forces on populated areas of Taiz,Yemen’s largest city ,has taken a terrible toll on civilians.
At least 30 civilians, including children, were killed and more then 160 wounded by artillery attacks on populated areas of Taiz city carried out by the Houthi group and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh over a 10-day period in May, according to HRW.
Human Rights Watch has previously documented Houthi-Saleh indiscriminate shelling in Taiz. In June 2016, shelling killed at least 18 civilians and wounded 68 others over three days, hitting markets crowded with people shopping for Ramadan, according to the UN. In August 2015, three Houthi-Saleh attacks on Taizz killed at least 14 civilians, including five women and five children. In February 2017, Taizz-based activists provided Human Rights Watch a list of dozens of attacks on Taizz since March 2015 that had resulted in scores of civilian casualties.
On May 21, 2017 at about 5 p.m., a munition hit al-Humaira area, Sala district, a residential neighborhood about 200 meters from the front lines, killing a woman and her son and wounding four others, including the woman’s daughter.
Abdulrahman al-Naqeeb, 28, told Human Rights Watch that he and his friends heard a loud explosion and saw that a munition hit near a security checkpoint, wounding a local security officer. Fragments also struck a small van that contained a driver, and a woman and her two children. Al-Naqeeb said:
After the explosion, we heard someone calling for help. Four or five of us went to help…
Eman al-Sufiani, 37, a recent widow, and her son Muhanned, 13, died in the attack. Her 8-year-old daughter, Shahad, was wounded. A local activist said three other men, including one of the men who worked at the checkpoint and the driver, were wounded in the attack.
Two more attacks that day, one near a school and the other near a mosque, killed five civilians, including a child. Three others were wounded, including two children, according to local activist al-Obidi.
On May 22 at about 1:30 p.m., a munition hit near Taiz’s Great Gate in al-Qahira district, a crowded area where people regularly gather to shop at the nearby market. According to al-Obidi’s casualty list, the attack killed one civilian and wounded 10, including a child.
Hamoud al-Shar’abi, 20, was buying vegetables in the market near the Great Gate when the munition hit. He said:
The first shell hit very close to me. People fell. Some got wounded. … I was thinking of rescuing a guy close to me. I didn’t know what to do. … Then I found myself on the ground, I lost consciousness.
Al-Shar’abi’s father said he heard an explosion followed by light cannon firing: “We got scared. The people were running away. Someone came and told us he saw someone with a motorbike rescue my son. I was terrified for my kid.”
Doctors performed surgery twice on al-Shar’abi and removed a light cannon round from his body. He provided Human Rights Watch a photo of the removed round.
Another attack that day on the al-Askari neighborhood wounded three civilians, including a 50-year-old woman and a 17-year-old boy, al-Obidi said.
On May 23 at about 11:30 a.m., a munition hit a fruit cart near Mousa Gate in al-Qahira district, wounding five civilians, including three children, according to al-Obidi. Hani Saeed, a 35-year-old owner of a nearby barbershop, said that he rushed to help a 16-year-old girl who sells vegetables next to his shop and her aunt, who were both wounded.
At about 4:30 p.m., at least three munitions hit al-Daboua’a neighborhood, about 10 to 15 minutes apart, killing at least five civilians, including one child, and wounding seven, including four children.
In a video made immediately after the attack, an impact crater and fragmentation pattern on the asphalt indicate a 120mm mortar projectile was used. Based on the direction of the impact, the projectile was fired in an east-to-west direction, which fits with a mortar fired from the locations to the east of the city where Houthi-Saleh forces are known to be positioned.
Haza’a Nubish, a local resident, said the first al-Daboua’a munition hit near the Motherhood and Childhood Center, a small health center, killing his cousin Salem Kudaf and wounding Kudaf’s 5-year-old son, Sami. Fragments from the munition also wounded a 13-year-old girl.
The next two munitions struck near a construction materials store, one hitting a house and the other the middle of the street, killing four people, including a 7-year-old boy, and wounding three, including a 12-year-old boy, Nubish said.
Ghazal Qassim, 24, said she was in a shop with her two sons, one an infant, when the munitions struck. She said she was terrified and sought cover. She went to the hospital after the attack, as she had metal fragments in her back, and her 4-year-old son’s hand was wounded.
At about the same time as the attacks on al-Daboua’a, Flah al-Atfi, 32, was killed and Ameen al-A’shari, 54, lost both his legs after a munition hit about 500 meters east of the Central Security Forces headquarters in Taizz, said al-A’shari’s son