Red Crescent teams assaulted in Yemen: ICRC

AFP , Tuesday 20 Sep 2011

The ICRC says that some Red Crescent teams have been threatened and assaulted in one of Sanaa's main hospitals

The international Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Tuesday that some Red Crescent teams have been threatened and assaulted in Yemen and that violent confrontations were reportedly taking place in one of Sanaa's main hospitals.

"The ICRC delegation is receiving very worrying reports of armed confrontations taking place in Al-Gomhori Hospital and placing many innocent lives at risk," said Valerie Petitpierre, deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross' delegation in Yemen.

An ICRC spokesman said that the relief agency has "received calls and allegations from a lot of people who live around the hospital or who have been in the hospital," claiming there were confrontations there.

In addition, "over the past three days, Yemen Red Crescent Society emergency response teams have been threatened and assaulted," said Petitpierre.

"In some cases they have had equipment confiscated, and there have also been incidents in which they were denied access to people in need of first aid," she added.

The ICRC urged all parties in the conflict to "respect and facilitate" the efforts of the Red Cross to help those in need.

"Anyone injured or wounded must be able to receive life-saving health care without undue delay," said Petitpierre.

"Medical staff, vehicles and facilities must be respected and protected," she stressed.

Gunfire and shelling rocked Sanaa for the third straight day on Tuesday as the toll from the worst outbreak of violence in Yemen's capital in months spiralled to 60 dead with hundreds wounded

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