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WHO calls for access to Yemen's besieged Taiz

Yemen's city of Taiz has been under siege for months [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 January, 2016

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The World Health Organisation is calling for access to Taiz, Yemen's third largest city which has been under siege for months.
The World Health Organisation is calling for access to Taiz, Yemen's third largest city which has been under siege for months amid a civil war between an internationally recognised government and Shia rebels.

The organisation said in a Thursday statement that five of its trucks have been prevented from entering the city since December 14.

It said the trucks carried "health supplies that urgently needed to be delivered" to overwhelmed hospitals, including trauma medicines and "500 cylinders of oxygen that are critically needed by the hospitals."

The Arab world's poorest country has been caught in a conflict since March, where a Saudi-led coalition has been waging an air campaign against the Houthis.

Both sides have continuously been accused of violating the laws of war and committing crimes against humanity.

So far, thousands of civilians have been killed, with numbers likely to increase as the war rages on.

The southern city of Taiz, besieged by the Houthis, has witnessed a deteriorating situation.

According to Human Rights Watch, the rebels have repeatedly fired mortar shells and artillery rockets indiscriminately into populated neighbourhoods, killing scores of innocent civilians.

“Houthi forces have been shelling Taiz without regard for the safety of its residents,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch [HRW].

The rebels have also unlawfully confiscated food and medical supplies from civilians in the city.

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