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ICRC president calls situation in Yemen 'catastrophic'

Monday, August 10, 2015 - 01:16

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross tours a hospital and bombarded homes in the Yemeni capital, calling the experience ''shocking''. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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Peter Maurer pokes his head inside a demolished Yemeni home. It's the aid agency chief's first glimpse of the destruction caused by a Saudi-led coalition air strike on June 12 on Sanaa's Old City -- a UNESCO World Heritage site. Several ancient structures were destroyed and at least five people were killed that day. But some 3,800 people have been killed in the months-long civil war, says the International Committee of the Red Cross. Maurer toured a local hospital treating some of the many wounded, and at a news conference called the situation in Yemen "catastrophic". (SOUNDBITE) (English) ICRC PRESIDENT, PETER MAURER, SAYING: "For me as a visitor now, it's been a very shocking experience now how much, how many parts of the health infrastructure and the health system of this country has been affected by the conflict." Maurer's visit aims to make sure all sides in the conflict abide by the international rules of warfare. The conflict has pitted the government in exile and its Arab allies against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, leaving well over a million Yemenis displaced.

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ICRC president calls situation in Yemen 'catastrophic'

Monday, August 10, 2015 - 01:16