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Yemen: ICRC / Yemeni Red Crescent aid convoy attacked in the north of the country

03-05-2007 News Release 07/56

Geneva / Sanaa (ICRC) – A humanitarian aid convoy of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Yemeni Red Crescent Society came under heavy gunfire in al Saifi, 18 km north of the town of Saada in northern Yemen, on 2 May.

The convoy, which consisted of 15 trucks carrying emergency supplies to 560 displaced families in the district of Baqim, was clearly marked with the red crescent emblem.

One ICRC staff member and 40 Yemeni Red Crescent volunteers were in the convoy when it was attacked; two of the volunteers were injured and have been treated in Saada.

The ICRC does not yet have any information concerning the motive of the attack. Its delegation in Yemen is seeking to learn more.

This attack jeopardizes vital humanitarian work. The ICRC condemns all attacks on civilians, including humanitarian workers. Under international humanitarian law, all those engaged in relief work must be respected and protected. Every measure necessary must be taken to ensure their safety and to guarantee their freedom of movement.

An ICRC delegate, based in Saada, is working closely with the Yemeni Red Crescent branch to ensure that the most urgent needs of those affected by fighting are met. Emergency aid – in the form of tents, groundsheets, jerry cans, mattresses, blankets and soap – is being provided to residents and displaced people. So far, more than 3,270 families (approximately 23,000 people) have benefited.

  For further information, please contact:
  Eman Moanqar, ICRC Sanaa, tel :+ 967 1 46 78 73 or + 967 711 944 343
  Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel : + 41 22 730 25 90 or + 41 79 251 93 18