GENEVA / YEMEN BUS ATTACK

10-Aug-2018 00:02:02
UN agencies said today that an airstrike on a busy market area in Yemen that reportedly killed scores of people including more than 20 children is likely the worst attack on youngsters in the conflict so far, but just the latest in a recent spate of violence targeting civilians. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / YEMEN BUS ATTACK
TRT: 2:02
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 AUGUST 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, United Nations press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Christophe Boulierac, Spokesperson, United Nations Children’s Agency (UNICEF): “We believe, UNICEF, that this is the single worst attack since 2015. The bus attack…no such number of children have been involved in an incident before.”
4. Med shot, podium with speakers
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We deplore Thursday’s attack in Yemen, where a coalition airstrike hit a bus carrying children in Dahyan market in Saada, reportedly killing 40 people and injuring another 60.”
6. Med shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“According to initial information our Offices has gathered, at least 21 boys, most of them aged under 15, were among those killed and 35 other boys were injured.”
8. Wide shot, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“A large number of children were killed yesterday appallingly, but in July, there are all manner of smaller incidents. On 19 July, there were four children killed when a coalition airstrike struck a farm. On 30 July, two children were killed when an airstrike hit a motorbike. On 31 July, two children were killed, they were out with their sheep, grazing, and they took a direct hit from an aerial strike.”
10. Med shot, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Christophe Boulierac, Spokesperson, United Nations Children’s Agency (UNICEF):
“Every day in Yemen, children are starving, children are dying because of the level of violence and its consequences.”
12. Med shot, journalists
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Christophe Boulierac, Spokesperson, United Nations Children’s Agency (UNICEF):
“1.8 million children are at risk of diarrheal diseases, 1.3 million children are at risk of pneumonia, more than four million children are in acute need of educational assistance. So any violence in Yemen, any facility that provides water indirectly threatens the lives of children.”
14. Med shot, United Nations press room
15. Wide shot, journalists
16. Med shot, journalists
STORYLINE
UN agencies said today that an airstrike on a busy market area in Yemen that reportedly killed scores of people including more than 20 children is likely the worst attack on youngsters in the conflict so far, but just the latest in a recent spate of violence targeting civilians.

According to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), at least 21 boys – most of them under the age of 15 – died when their bus was hit on Thursday (09 Aug) in Dahyan market in Saada, the north of the country.

In addition, more than 30 boys were injured in the aerial bombardment, which was carried out by a Saudi-led international coalition that has backed Yemen President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi against Houthi opposition forces for more than three years.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, UNICEF’s spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said “we believe, UNICEF, that this is the single worst attack since 2015. The bus attack…no such number of children have been involved in an incident before.”

Boulierac explained that following the attack, UNICEF staff on the ground reported chaotic scenes at the hospital where victims were being treated, adding that the number of fatalities could rise.

The development follows condemnation of the incident by UN Secretary-General António Guterres who called for an “independent and prompt investigation” into the matter.

His comments were echoed by UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Liz Throssell in Geneva.

She said “we deplore Thursday’s attack in Yemen, when a coalition air strike hit a bus carrying children in Dahyan market in Saada, reportedly killing 40 people and injuring another 60. According to initial information our Office has gathered, at least 21 boys, most of them aged under 15, were among those killed and 35 others were injured.”

Reiterating the UN chief’s call for Yemen’s belligerents to take “constant care to spare civilians and civilian objects”, Throssell noted that the bus attack followed a series of more minor – but deadly - incidents involving youngsters last month.

She said “a large number of children were killed yesterday appallingly, but in July, there are all manner of smaller incidents. On 19 July, there were four children killed when a coalition airstrike struck a farm. On 30 July, two children were killed when an airstrike hit a motorbike. On 31 July, two children were killed, they were out with their sheep, grazing, and they took a direct hit from an aerial strike.”

Turning to the recent targeting of a hospital and other targets in the key Houthi-controlled port city of Hudaydah, the OHCHR spokesperson said that staff there had documented “at least” 41 civilian deaths.

Among the dead were six children and four women, Throssell said, noting that mortars had struck different built-up locations in Al Hawak district.

The OHCHR spokesperson said that these included the fishing port, a dock and hangar “at the time full of fishermen and street vendors”, adding that Al-Thawra hospital was hit shortly afterwards.

Throssell said that in that attack, three mortars were fired, including one that landed in a busy street “full of traffic, street vendors and pedestrians.”

Between 26 March and 9 August 2018, OHCHR has documented 17,062 civilian casualties in Yemen; this includes 6,592 dead and 10,470 injured. The majority of these casualties – 10,471, were as a result of airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led Coalition, it said in a statement.

Amid ongoing conflict in one of the world’s poorest countries, UNICEF warned that the consequences for children have been particularly striking.

UNICEF’s spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said “every day in Yemen, children are starving, children are dying because of the level of violence and its consequences.”

He added “1.8 million children are at risk of diarrhoeal diseases, 1.3 million children are at risk of pneumonia, more than four million children are in acute need of educational assistance. So any violence in Yemen, any facility that provides water indirectly threatens the lives of children.”
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