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Yemeni rights group calls for investigation on Hodeida massacre

A civilian being treated after being struck by the attack [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 August, 2018

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Rights Radar has called for a 'fair and impartial' investigation after 55 people were killed when bombs struck Hodeida last week.
A Yemeni human rights organisation has called for a “fair and impartial” investigation after a bombing in the port city of Hodeida last week killed 55 civilians and injured hundreds.

Geneva-based Rights Radar said all of the fatal bombs on Thursday which targeted a fish market and the gate of the port city’s Thawra hospital were civilians - some of whom were fishermen, fish sellers, and shoppers.

Thawra Hospital was “deliberately” targeted once injured civilians reached the hospital, killing nine more, according to the organsiation.  

The human rights group slammed the deadly massacre, saying it constitutes a war crime.

“RR strongly condemned this massacre in Hodeida occurred last Thursday, August 2, 2018, which amounts to a war crime,” the group said in a statement sent to The New Arab.

“The group called on the United Nations and the international community to intervene to stop the series of massacres committed against civilians during the past three years of the war in Yemen, and to ensure a fair and impartial international investigation that should reveal the actual perpetrators of these massacres, prevent their recurrence and preserve the rights of victims.”

Both Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels denied involvement in the bombing, leaving rights groups and civilians wanting justice.

Saudi-led Yemen coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Maliki had even blamed the Houthis for the killings.

"The Houthi militia are behind the killing of civilians in Hodeida on Thursday," he told a Saudi broadcaster according to The New York Times.

But the Yemeni rights group said this is just one of many crimes that has resulted in dead civilians while warring factions trade blame.

“This massacre is one of a series of massacres committed either by the Houthi militia or by the Saudi-led coalition forces during the last three years of the war in Yemen, the two parties usually exchanging the accusations of committing it, while the truth is lost in the absence of impartial investigation that should reveal the actual perpetrators of these grave violations of human rights,” Rights Radar said.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a military campaign to restore Yemen's internationally recognised government to power and push back the Houthi rebels, who hold the capital Sanaa.

The war in the impoverished country has left more than 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

Malnutrition, cholera and other diseases have killed or sickened thousands of civilians over the years.

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