Al Mukalla: The internationally-recognised government of Yemen has said that 11,251 people including 1,080 children and 684 women have been killed in more than two years of conflict that started after an Iran-backed Al Houthi movement coup which ousted Yemen’s legitimate president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi in 2014.
The state-run Saba news agency quoted the minister of human rights, Mohammad Mohsen Askar, as saying that the rebels are to be blamed for most of the deaths as they continually shell densely populated areas in Taiz and other cities and prevented vital humanitarian aide from reaching people.
The figures released by the Yemeni government are close to those released by the United Nations that put death toll at more than 10,000.
Highlighting human right violations committed by Al Houthis, Askar said that at least 500 civilians have been killed since the beginning of this year and his ministry has recorded the death of eight journalists and a death verdict against a Yemeni journalist in Al Houthi-held Sana’a.
In the past 20 days, Al Houthis are said to have killed 62 civilians in Taiz, including eight women and 14 children, Al Askar said.
This year, the minister said, the rebels have abducted 1,930 civilians who challenged their power including 400 people forcibly disappeared, denying them access to their relatives and lawyers.
The number of arbitrarily detained politicians, activists and others since the beginning of the Al Houthi coup has reached 18,734, the minister said.
Hundreds of women and children have staged protests inside Al Houthi-controlled territories to pressure the rebels to release their incarcerated relatives or reveal their fate or whereabouts.
Meanwhile in Aden, the base of Hadi’s government, Abdul Raqeeb Fatih, the minister of local administration and the head of Supreme Relief Committee, has accused Al Houthis of looting, obstructing and seizing dozens of ships and trucks carrying humanitarian aid sent by the GCC states to people inside their territories.
According to Saba, the rebels have confiscated or looted more than 63 ships from the neighbouring Gulf states that docked at seaports under their control since early 2015.
More than 550 vehicles carrying aid have been seized or confiscated at the entrances of the rebel-held cities including the city of Taiz and were diverted to feed their fighters who are battling government forces.