Yemen

Civilians killed by a coalition strike on a Republican Guards Brigade in Taiz

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Sana'a, Sunday April 12—An air strike launched today morning by the Saudi-led coalition has hit Al-Dhahirah village in the Mawia district of Taiz, causing the death of at least eight civilians and the injuryof more than ten.

All casualties belonged to the Akhdam minority group, which is a marginalized community of African decent living in poor conditions in different parts of Yemen. The village is located precariously close to the 22nd Republican Guards Brigade, which was hit directly by another air strike by the coalition.

According to eye witnesses, coalition forces launched two strikes that seemed to target the brigade. While one of the strikes hit the brigade directly the other strike hit the village.

Assistant Security Manager of Taiz governorate EdiAl-Yousfi said he thinks that the coalition strike did not intend to attack the village deliberately but may have missed its target by error.

HamzaMosed, a citizen from Mawia district told the Yemen Times that Al-Dhahirah is a small village where the marginalized Akhdampeople have been'livingfor ages'. He confirmed that one of the two strikeshittheir villageand burnt some of their houses down.

Taiz isone of the governorates that have witnessed almost daily Saudi-led coalition strikes since the aerial bombardmentstarted on March 26.

In relevant news, yesterday evening witnessed dozens of soldiers of the 35thArmored Brigade leaving their camp, which is located to the west of the city and were seen being deployed in different streets of Taiz city, according to local resident Rafat Abdu. He added that anti-Houthis armed men were also seen to the north of the city in anticipation of Houthis' advancement.

He noted that the soldiers in armored vehicles and tanks entered the small neighborhoods of the western area of Taiz causing residents ofTaiz city to fear the potential outbreak of clashes between Houthi forces on the one hand and forces loyal to President Hadion the other.

It is worth noting that Taiz is one of the few governorates that did not fall completed to Houthi control. Both Houthi and anti-Houthi forces have a foothold in the city. While the Republican Guard and other units allied with Houthis are in control of the military camps, forces allied with Hadior the governor of Taizarepresent in other parts of the city.

A soldier of the 35th Armored Brigade, who spoke to Yemen Times on condition of anonymity, saidthe brigade soldiers left the camp in order to avoid being hit by the Saudi-led coalition strikes and have no plans to clashwith any other force in the city.

According to Rafat Abdu, apart from the risk of being caught in the crossfire between the Houthi and anti-Houthi forces, residents of Taiz are now also fearful of aerial coalition bombardments that have started targeting installations close to residential areas.