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UNHCR shocked and saddened by civilian deaths in Taizz, Yemen

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UNHCR shocked and saddened by civilian deaths in Taizz, Yemen

19 July 2017

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is deeply shocked and saddened at reports of the deaths and injuries of a number of internally displaced persons in an aerial attack on the embattled Mawza district in Yemen’s Taizz governorate.

The incident was reported on Tuesday afternoon and the number of civilian casualties are still being verified with initial reports pointing to at least 20 deaths, including that of women and children. Most of those killed are believed to be from the same family. Injuries have also been reported with a number also taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

The people killed in the incident were reported to have been displaced to Mawza from nearby Al Mokha district, also in Taizz governorate and which is also experiencing intensified hostilities.

Testament to the complex and grave situation for civilians and those seeking safety in Yemen, a large number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Yemen are displaced within their own governorate. More than half a million people, 27 per cent of Yemen’s IDPs originate from Taizz and yet the governorate is also host to 15 per cent of Yemen’s IDP’s, or some 303,672 individuals.

There are two million internally displaced people in Yemen who have fled elsewhere across Yemen since the beginning of the conflict, but continue to be exposed to danger as the conflict has affected all of Yemen’s mainland governorates.

This latest incident once again demonstrates the extreme dangers facing civilians in Yemen, particularly those attempting to flee violence, as they disproportionately bear the brunt of conflict.

It also illustrates the difficulties in the delivery of humanitarian protection and assistance in Yemen. Amid prevailing security and safety conditions, UNHCR’s assistance for IDPs has reached the Mawza area.

UNHCR, as the lead agency for protection under the coordinated humanitarian response in Yemen, has been appealing to parties to the conflict to ensure their utmost in the protection of civilians and the mitigation of suffering.

A peaceful political solution to resolve the conflict in Yemen is urgently needed to end civilian suffering.

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