Yemen mosque bomb toll rises to 32 as Saudis pummel Sana'a and Taiz (dpa German Press Agency)

Sana’a (dpa) – Yemeni state news agency Saba overnight put the death
toll in a mosque bombing in Sana’a at 32, as a Saudi-led coalition
launched heavy airstrikes on the capital and the central city of Taiz
Thursday.

Saba, controlled by the Houthi rebels who hold Sana’a, said a further
98 people had been injured in Wednesday’s double bombing,
responsibility for which was claimed on social media in the name of
the Islamic State extremist group.

Thursday morning saw the capital rocked by airstrikes by a Saudi-led
coalition backing exiled President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi, apparently
targeting two military bases. There were no immediate reports of
casualties.

Warplanes flew over the city from the early morning at an intensity
not yet seen since the coalition launched its air campaign in March.

Recent weeks have seen reinforcements move across the Saudi border to
join pro-Hadi forces in Marib, east of Sana’a, with Hadi supporters
speaking of upcoming action to retake the capital.

Residents of Taiz reported nine or so airstrikes on Houthi positions
in the city amid fierce fighting on the ground between the rebels,
backed by army units, and local militias who have been trying to
drive them out.

Meanwhile the United Nations warned that fighting in the densely
populated region was causing “intense suffering by civilians,” with
at least 95 killed in “indiscriminate airstrikes and shelling” since
mid-August.

The province’s health system has nearly collapsed, with almost all
public hospital services out of action despite cases of dengue fever
rising to more than 400 in the last two weeks of August, the UN said.

The water network in Taiz has stopped pumping since August 18, and
insecurity had halted a polio vaccination campaign and reduced
treatment for malnourished children.

In August, food aid reached only 57,500 people, a small portion of
those in need, the UN added.

The World Food Programme recently warned that Yemen, one of the
poorest Arab countries even before the conflict, was on the brink of
famine, calling on the warring parties to open ports and allow
humanitarian access throughout the country.

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