UNICEF says three echildren among latest Yemen dead
Three children, including a three-month-old baby, have been killed in the latest eruption of violence in Yemen's flashpoint city of Taez, UNICEF said on Tuesday.
"Our numbers are showing that three children have been killed and seven injured in this latest round of violence in Taez," spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told journalists in Geneva.
"That brings the total number of children killed so far to 138, the majority through live ammunition," Mercado said, referring to the toll since an uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule began in late January.
The agency estimates that a further 568 children have been injured.
Intense fighting broke out in Yemen's second-largest city on Thursday which medical sources said had cost more than 34 lives.
Heavy shelling and street combat has damaged neighbourhoods and forced many to flee their homes, according to aid groups.
The Yemen Humanitaran County Team, comprising UN agencies and local and national relief organisations, said access to basic services was increasingly limited and schools and hospitals had been occupied or come under attack.
"Our youngest victim thus far was three months old, killed in Taez on December 1," said Mercado.
"We urge all parties to spare civilians, particularly women and children."
The call was echoed by the United Nations rights body.
"The continued use of disproportionate force by part of the government security forces, despite commitments to investigate serious human rights violations, is extremely disappointing," said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"The killing must stop immediately and we urge all sides to halt the use of violent force."
The agency called for immediate access into Yemen so its staff can asses the situation.
© 2011 AFP