Concern over recent escalation in Yemen fighting

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Children attend classes in Yemen, where over 600 schools have been damaged as a result of conflict. Photo: UNICEF

The recent escalation in fighting in Yemen is worsening the country's "already dire" humanitarian situation, the UN Secretary-General said on Tuesday.

Government forces, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, have been battling Shia rebels known as Houthi for control of the country.

Dianne Penn reports.

The uptick in violence comes after UN-backed peace talks reached what the global body described as a "final stop" over the weekend.

Several civilians have been killed as a result.

Farhan Haq is the UN Deputy Spokesman:

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about reports of increased fighting between various parties in Hajjah, Sa'ada and Sana'a provinces including over the past few days. We are unable at this time to independently verify reports of civilian casualties. What is clear, however, is that the reported escalation in fighting exacerbates the already dire humanitarian and human rights situation and the suffering of the Yemeni people."

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is urging the warring sides to exercise maximum caution and avoid civilian infrastructure following the deaths of four children near the capital, Sana'a, on Sunday.

 Children are paying the heaviest price of the conflict in Yemen, according to the agency.

The agency has verified that 1,121 children have been killed and another 1,650 injured since fighting escalated in March 2015.

UNICEF said the actual numbers are likely to be much higher.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’10″

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