More fighting, air strikes in Yemen, civilian death toll exceeds 550

Reuters, By Mohammed Mukhashaf, April 25

Aden – Fighting between Yemen’s warring factions raged in southern and central parts of the country and air strikes hit Houthi militia forces in Aden on Friday, but there were no fresh moves toward dialogue.

Saudi Arabia says it is winding down its month-old bombing operation against the Iran-allied Houthis and forces loyal to Yemen’s former president. But Riyadh pounded targets with at least 20 airstrikes across Yemen on Thursday and 10 more on Friday.

The civilian death toll from the fighting and airstrikes since the bombing started on March 26 has reached an estimated 551 people, the United Nations said on Friday. Its children’s agency UNICEF said at least 115 children were among the dead.

Washington and other Western countries backing the Saudi-led aerial campaign have grown increasingly worried about the humanitarian crisis on the ground and also about the risk of Sunni Muslim jihadist groups taking advantage of the chaos.

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