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Increased clashes in Yemen claim civilian casualties: UN
update:January 29,2021
UNITED NATIONS, Jan.29,2021 -- Civilians are among the casualties from increased clashes between government and rebel forces in southern al Hodeidah Governorate in Yemen, UN humanitarians said on Thursday.
Since mid-January, there has been an uptick in clashes in the area, including the shelling of residential areas, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) said. Preliminary reports indicated more civilian casualties, and houses and farms in Hays and al Durayhimi districts were damaged. Over 100 families, at least 700 people, have been displaced.
"The number of civilian casualties in al Hodeidah Governorate is an ongoing cause of concern," the office said in a release. "In the last three months of 2020, 153 civilian casualties were reported in al Hodeidah, the highest number reported in any governorate across the country, with continued clashes close to residential areas."
"Indiscriminate attacks on residential areas are a breach of international humanitarian law and must stop immediately," said Auke Lootsma, humanitarian coordinator in Yemen. "The parties must remember that they have a duty to take all necessary measures to protect civilians at all times and allow humanitarians to respond to the injured and displaced."
At least 23 fighters, from both the Yemeni army and Houthi militia, were killed in clashes in the al-Durayhimi district in the southern part of Hodeidah, a local government military source told Xinhua News Agency on Jan. 18.
The Red Sea port city of Hodeidah has seen a shaky cease-fire between the government forces and the Houthis since they reached a UN-sponsored truce in Stockholm in December 2018.
Yemen remains the world's worst humanitarian crisis, OCHA said. Nearly 80 percent of the population, over 24 million people, require humanitarian assistance and protection. Only 56 percent of the 3.38-billion-U.S.-dollar planned fund for Yemen humanitarian response program last year was received. 
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