Sunday, 22 May, 2022
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Iran, UN denounce air strike in Yemen jail

US urges all parties to de-escalate; Saudi-led coalition denies bombing

Iran, UN denounce air strike in Yemen jail
An image grab from a handout video provided by Al-Masirah TV on Friday shows a man moving rubble during rescue operations following Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen's rebel-held northern stronghold of Saada.

Iran and the United Nations have condemned the airstrikes allegedly by the Saudi-led coalition on Yemen that left at least 70 dead at a prison and disrupted telecommunications, report agencies.  

The US has urged all parties to de-escalate the long-running conflict while the Saudi-led coalition on Saturday denied carrying out the air strike on a rebel-held prison in northern Yemen.

Condemning the attack, Iran on Saturday warned they make achieving peace in the war-torn country "more difficult".

The Saudi-led coalition has denied as "groundless" reports it carried out an air strike on a prison in Yemen's rebel-held north that aid groups said killed at least 70 people, including migrants, women and children.

"The continuation of the coalition's military attacks on Yemen with the silence and indifference of the international community and the uncontrolled sale of weapons to the aggressors... has made the path to achieve a just peace in the country even more difficult," foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday assailed the attack on the prison in Huthi territory in Saada and the strike on a telecommunications facility that killed at least three children in the port city of Hodeida.

That attack, Guterres said, knocked out "vital" internet services in the war-torn country.

But he also condemned the attack by Huthi rebels Monday on Abu Dhabi which killed three people.

Guterres "reminds all parties that attacks directed against civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international humanitarian law," the UN said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for de-escalation in Yemen's long-running conflict after "more than 100 casualties in recent days" including 70 people killed at a prison in an air strike.

"The United States calls on all parties to the conflict to de-escalate, abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, and participate fully in an inclusive UN-led peace process," Blinken said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition on Saturday denied carrying out an air strike on a prison in Yemen's rebel-held north that aid groups said killed at least 70 people, including migrants, women and children.

Claims the military coalition ordered the raid, which reduced buildings to rubble and left rescuers scrabbling for survivors with their bare hands, were "groundless", the alliance said.