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Yemen: scores of civilian casualties in intense fighting in Abyan

16-05-2012 News Release 106/12

Sana'a/Geneva (ICRC) – Over the past few days, an escalation in fighting has resulted in scores of civilian casualties in Ja'ar, Abyan governorate.

"We are extremely concerned about the increasing number of casualties and about allegations of air strikes in civilian locations," said Eric Marclay, the head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen.

The ICRC calls upon all parties involved in the fighting to distinguish at all times between civilians and fighters and to take all feasible precautions to spare civilian lives. Medical staff and facilities must also be protected and respected. "We ask the parties involved to protect civilians and allow health-care workers to do their job safely," said Mr Marclay. "We also ask that injured persons be allowed to seek medical attention in safety."

Within the past three months, the ICRC has distributed food and other items to around 100,000 internally displaced people and residents in Abyan governorate. It has also provided medical treatment for people wounded in the fighting and medical supplies for health-care facilities, in addition to completing a water project supplying clean water to more than 100,000 people. It stands ready to further scale up its humanitarian assistance in the area and to support medical facilities providing treatment for war-wounded patients.

For further information, please contact:
Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 711 94 43 43 or +967 73 607 19 67
Hicham Hassan, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 41 or +41 79 536 92 57