80 Killed in Heavy Fighting, Airstrikes in Yemen

37 Civilians Among the Slain in Attacks

by Jason Ditz, June 28, 2016

Heavy fighting between the pro-Saudi forces and the Shi’ite Houthis in Yemen over the past 24 hours left at least 80 people dead nationwide, one of the single deadliest days of fighting in months, and a sign that the crumbling peace process is no longer restraining fighters on either side.

The largest death toll was in an airstrike by the Saudi military, which killed 34 people in Taiz in a target on a Shi’ite controlled area. 19 civilians were among the slain, according to reports from the area.

The area hit in Taiz was a commercial road between a pair of villages, hitting several shops in the area and killing a number of shoppers and storekeepers in the process. A number of people were also wounded in the airstrikes.

Another Saudi airstrike hit pro-Saudi forces traveling in a vehicle in a contested area, killing four troops in what officials described as an accident. Further south in Shabwa, seven civilians were killed in a pair of drone strikes.

The two sides have been in a state of partial ceasefire for weeks, to facilitate peace talks in Kuwait. The pro-Saudi faction, however, has repeatedly demanded unconditional surrender as a precondition for any real negotiations, however, which has meant almost nothing has been accomplished by the talks.

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