Houthi shelling south of Hodeidah kills two children

A mortar attack launched on the city of Al Tuhaiyta on Saturday left a dozen injured

Houthi rebels launched a mortar attack on the city of Al Tuhaiyta. AFP
Houthi rebels launched a mortar attack on the city of Al Tuhaiyta. AFP

Three civilians were killed, including two children, and 12 were injured on Saturday after Houthi militia launched a mortar attack on a populated Yemeni city in Hodeidah province, a medical source told The National.

The shelling launched by the Iran-backed rebels on Al Tuhaiyta, which lies 100 kilometres to the south of the coastal city of Hodeidah, began early in the morning and lasted for several hours.

“Two children and an elderly man were killed instantly,” the source said. “The wounded people were taken to the public medical centre in the city to receive first aid, then those who were seriously injured were taken to the public hospital in Al Khokhah.

“Some with fatal wounds were taken to hospitals in Aden,” the medical source added.

A resident of the city said the Houthis – who still control swathes of land to the north - had been launching continuous shelling since the Yemeni army retook Al Tuhaiyta last year.

“The pro-government forces liberated our city driving the Houthi rebels out to the north in July 2018 but some Houthi troops kept hold of parts north of the city,” Fadel Obeid told The National.

Mr Obeid said the Houthis had made fortifications and launched regular attacks injuring residents of the city, which has a population of 70,000.

“My neighbour was among those who were seriously injured after the aggressive shelling today. His two legs were cut and he was transferred to Aden to be treated but one of his sons told me this evening that he is a ‘hopeless case’.

“He is laying in the intensive care unit with fatal wounds all over his body,” the resident said.

Meanwhile, the Houthis launched a separate attack on Saturday on military sites controlled by forces loyal to the Yemeni government in Al Faza, an area which lies to the south of Hodeidah.

“Dozens of mortar shells were fired over the pro-government forces deployed along the main route which links the port city of Hodeidah with the southern districts and stretches to Aden,” a military source in the pro-government forces told The National.

The Houthi militia have led a crackdown against the southern districts in the province of Hodeidah, exploiting the halt sponsored by the UN in the Red Sea city since the end of December 2018.

The rebels have been pushing new troops to the areas of Zabid, Al Jarahi and Al Jabaliya, which are still under their control in southern Hodeidah.

Dozens of civilians have been killed by Houthi shelling targeting the populated areas in the districts of Haiys and Al Tuhaiyta.

Updated: March 3, 2019 10:25 AM


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