Five women and a child killed by Houthi shelling on Taez prison

Analysts say rebels act in province with impunity

Yemeni fighters loyal to the country's exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi ride a tank past a destroyed building during clashes with Shiite Huthi rebels in the country's third-city of Taez on May 30, 2019. Taez, in southern Yemen, is under siege by the Huthis but controlled by pro-government forces, who are supported by the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. / AFP / Ahmad AL-BASHA
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Five women and a child were killed and more than 10 were seriously injured by Houthi shelling at the female section of the central prison in Yemen’s Taez city on Sunday, officials said.

"The Houthi rebels launched indiscriminate mortar shelling over the western swathes of the city this evening," Rashad Al Akhali, a deputy governor of Taez province, told The National.

"Three mortar shells fell over the women inmates' section in the central prison, resulting in deaths and injuries.

“All of the injured were transferred to the public hospitals in Al Thawarah and Al Jumhori, and to other private hospitals in the city centre."

Yemen’s government condemned the shelling and called on the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross for support.

"The Houthi rebels bear all the responsibility for all the bloodshed of Yemeni civilians since the war erupted in 2015," Dr Mohammed Askar, Yemen's Minister of Human Rights, told The National.

“I strongly condemn the silence by the international community, Security Council and international organisations of the UN and all the human rights organisations over the horrible crimes that have been committed by the Houthi militia against the Yemeni people.

“These amount to war crimes and they violate all the international laws. All the criminals behind them must be brought to justice."

Nadwa Dawsari, a Yemen conflict analyst, said: “Despite being the most devastated city, Taez remains largely ignored by the UN and international community.

"The Houthis continue to commit atrocities against Taez citizens with great comfort.

“They know they won't be held accountable because no one is calling them out on their crimes in the city – not the UN, not ambassadors, not the international community. No one."