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Yemeni Civilians Caught in Taiz Fighting, MSF Says


FILE - People walk past a building destroyed during recent fighting in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz, March 14, 2016.

FILE - People walk past a building destroyed during recent fighting in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz, March 14, 2016.

Civilians continue to be severely affected by violence in the Yemeni city of Taiz, despite the cease-fire reached two months ago between warring parties, according to the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders.

Some of the fiercest fighting has taken place in densely populated parts of Taiz, including daily shelling, airstrikes, bomb blasts, land mine explosions and sniper fire, an MSF statement said Tuesday.

None of the warring parties appears to be trying to prevent casualties among civilians, the statement said.

MSF called for all parties in Yemen’s conflict to take greater measures to protect civilians, reduce the intense level of conflict and facilitate unrestricted humanitarian access in Taiz.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad, the U.N.'s envoy to Yemen, met in the framework of peace consultations with senior Yemeni negotiators participating in intra-Yemeni talks in Kuwait. Participants discussed their priorities, he tweeted Tuesday.

Kuwait’s KUNA news agency reported that the talks dealt mainly with the security arrangements to maintain the cessation-of-hostilities agreement, withdrawal of armed groups, surrender of weaponry, and release of prisoners of war and detainees.

According to the latest figures released by the U.N. human rights office, more than 3,500 people have been killed and nearly 6,300 wounded in Yemen since the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign against Houthi rebels about 15 months ago.

A report issued by the U.N. Children's Fund on March 29 put the number of children killed at 900 and the injured at 1,300 during the first year of fighting.

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