Shelling of market in Yemen’s Taiz kills 21

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — More than 20 civilians were killed in the shelling of a busy market in the war-torn Yemeni city of Taiz, including a member of an international aid group, the group and medical officials said on Friday.

Doctors Without Borders, known by the French acronym MSF, said that its hospitals received a total of 21 victims on Friday, including a group worker, and 75 wounded, with many suffering from fractures, severe burns, open wounds and lacerations, as well as internal injuries.

“Sadly, one of our colleagues who works as a watchman at the MSF trauma center in Taiz was killed whilst he was off duty when a blast hit a local market in the neighborhood,” said Djoen Besselink, MSF’s Head of Mission in Yemen.

“Another heartbreaking example of a hard-working citizen affected by this ongoing conflict.”

Later in the day, the Yemeni Press Syndicate said that a young photographer, Awab al-Zubairi, has been killed in Taiz while he was covering the destruction of districts recently seized by pro-government forces.

Taiz has been one of the worst-hit cities in Yemen’s conflict where fighting between Shiite rebels, known as the Houthis, and forces loyal to the internationally-recognized government escalated this week. The pro-government forces are backed by a Saudi-led coalition, which launched an air campaign last year to dislodge the Houthis from areas under their control, including the capital Sanaa.

A U.S.-brokered ceasefire and peace deal has been backed by the Houthis but rejected by the government for giving the rebels a share of power while sidelining the Houthis’ rival, exiled President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

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