UN's Yemen envoy condemns attack in Taez that killed one child and wounded 10

Hans Grundberg says he will continue to push for extension of ceasefire set to expire on August 2

Buildings in Yemen's besieged city of Taez bear the marks of years of fighting and civilian casualties of rebel shelling are common. AFP
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Yemen's Houthi rebels reportedly shelled a residential area in the south-western city of Taez, killing one child, wounding 10 others and drawing condemnation from the UN.

The attack took place on Saturday, when a group of children were playing in an open area in the Zaid Al Moshki neighbourhood of Taez.

A house was also damaged in the shelling, witness Fathi Al Saqqaf told Associated Press.

Moammar Al Eryani, Yemen's Information Minister, said one of the wounded children died on Sunday.

He blamed the Iran-backed rebels for the attack, which happened as the UN tries to extend a truce between the sides.

Hans Grunderg, the UN envoy for Yemen, said he was “especially alarmed” by the attack.

“The killing and injuring of children is particularly reprehensible,” Mr Grundberg said in a statement.

“The people of Taez have suffered immensely through seven years of war and they, too, need the truce to deliver for them, in all its aspects.”

Taez, Yemen’s third largest city and the capital of the province of the same name, has been under a blockade imposed by the rebels since 2016.

They have rejected two UN proposals to end the blockade.

The UN brokered a two-month truce that went into effect on April 1 and was extended for another two months in June. It is the first nationwide truce in six years of the Yemen conflict.

The truce calls for the reopening of the roads around Taez and elsewhere in Yemen.

“I will continue engaging the parties to renew and expand the truce, and to ensure that Yemenis nationwide experience the protection, greater freedom of movement and hope that it is meant to provide,” Mr Grundberg said.

The ceasefire has mostly held although both sides have traded accusations of violations.

It has brought calm to most parts of the country for the first time since 2014, when the Houthis overran the capital, Sanaa, and forced the internationally recognised government to flee.

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in the war in March 2015 at the government's request.

The war has created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, with 24 million people — 80 per cent of Yemen's population — requiring emergency food aid.

Updated: July 25, 2022, 7:17 AM