Yemen war death toll reaches at least 70,000

At least 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict inYemensince January 2016, according to a new report.

More than 10,000 people have been reported killed in Yemen over the last five months, according to the report released on Thursday by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).

Approximately 2,350 deaths took place in January while February and March saw 1,930 and 2,330 deaths respectivey, according to the report.

A Saudi-led coalition launched a massive aerial campaign in March 2015 in support of Yemen’s exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who was force out by Houthi rebels.

The report also points towards a dramatic increase in fatalities this year in specific areas including Al Jawf, Hajjah, Taiz and Sadah.

On the other hand, the numbers dropped most significantly in Hodeidah, Marib, the capital Sanaa, and Al Bayda.

The latest death toll comes as a shock following a report last month of adownward trendin overall fatalities in Yemen this year.

Despite a UN-backed peace process lethal fighting has continued across the country, and even intensified in several key governorates like Taiz and Hajjah.

‘100 every week’

The latest numbers come after theUnited Nationssaid last month that 100 civilians were either killed or wounded every week inYemenin 2018, with children accounting for a fifth of all casualties.

According to the figuresreleasedby theworld body’s refugee agency, more than 4,800 civilian deaths and injuries were reported over the course of 2018. Children accounted for 410 deaths and 542 injuries, theUNHCRsaid.

Relying on open source data for its findings, the agency noted that nearly half of all the casualties – 48 percent – were reported in the western city of Hodeidah, whose strategic port has been the scene of fierce fighting betweenHouthirebels and Saudi-UAE-backed fighters supporting Yemen’s government.

The UN figures also showed that a staggering 30 percent of the civilians were either killed and wounded inside their homes, with non-combatants also targeted when travelling on roads, working on farms and at other civilian sites.

The warin Yemen has been at a stalemate for years, with the coalition and Yemeni forces unable to dislodge the Houthis from the capital, Sanaa, and other urban centres.

The fighting and ensuing economic collapse have also unleashed the world’s most urgenthumanitarian crisis, with 14 million of the impoverished country’s 29 million population on the brink of starvation.

The cost of food has jumped by an average of 68 percent since 2015, according to the UN, while the price of commodities such as petrol, diesel and cooking gas has increased by at least 25 percent in the past year.

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