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Yemeni fighting concerns ICRC

Dec. 19, 2013 at 2:44 PM   |   Comments

SANAA, Yemen, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday it was concerned by the well-being of those people trapped by ongoing fighting in northern Yemen.

Cedric Schweizer, head of the ICRC delegation in Sanaa, said Thursday all parties involved in fighting in northern Yemen need to ensure the seriously wounded are cared for adequately.

"[Parties to the conflict] must at all times respect the lives and dignity of all persons arrested or detained in connection with the ongoing conflict by either party, regardless of whether those persons are fighters or civilians," he said in a statement.

The ICRC expressed alarm in early November when heavy fighting erupted between Houthis, a Shiite movement, and military forces in Dammaj, a city in northern Yemen.

Houthis, which launched a rebellion against the government in 2004, agreed to halt the fighting in mid-November though the ICRC's statement Thursday said violence had intensified.

The ICRC said it's been asking to gain access to areas affected by the fighting since November and was ready to enter Dammaj immediately.

The agency reminded all parties to the conflict that civilians and combatants alike are entitled to medical care and human treatment.

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