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At least 185 dead in battle for Yemen's Aden: Medics

AFP , Saturday 4 Apr 2015
Civilian deaths mount as Yemen falls apart. People gather near rubble of houses destroyed by an airstrike near Sanaa Airport, March 31, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)
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Fierce fighting for control of Yemen's main southern city Aden has left at least 185 people dead and more than 1,200 wounded, including many civilians, a medical official said Saturday.

The port city, a last foothold of supporters of absent President Abd-rabbo Mansour Hadi, has been shaken by more than a week of clashes between Shia rebels and loyalist militia backed by Saudi-led air strikes.

At least 185 dead and 1,282 wounded from the fighting have been counted in hospitals in Aden since March 26, the city's health department director Al-Kheder Lassouar said.

Three-quarters were civilians, he added.

The toll does not include victims among the Houthi Shia rebels and their allies who do not take their casualties to public hospitals, he said.

It also excludes victims of Saudi-led air raids that have been pounding rebel positions around the country since March 26 to try to prevent the fall of Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh, he added.

Lassouar called on international organisations and Arab states participating in the coalition to provide emergency medical assistance to hospitals in Aden.

"Medicine stocks are exhausted and hospitals can no longer cope with the increasing number of victims," he said.

The United Nations said on Thursday that 519 people had been killed and nearly 1,700 injured in two weeks of fighting around the country.

The UN Security Council is due to meet Saturday to discuss a Russian proposal for humanitarian pauses in the Saudi-led air campaign, according to diplomats in New York.

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