Yemen air attacks.jpg
Photograph: EPA/YAHYA ARHAB

The United Nations' human rights office says 272 civilians have been killed in Yemen's conflict in four months alone this year.

Between April 11 and August 11, 543 civilians were wounded, said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, noting that the number of civilian casualties "has been steadily mounting over the past few weeks."

"In just the past week ... 49 civilians were killed and another 77 injured," she said in a statement Friday.

Among the recent deadly attacks that Shamdasani mentioned was an airstrike on Tuesday that hit the al-Khafifa food factory in the capital Sana'a, in which she said 10 civilians died and 13 factory workers were injured.

A Health Ministry official had told dpa on Tuesday that 14 civilians were killed in that airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition.

The airstrike was the first in weeks on the capital, which is held by the mainly Shiite Houthi rebel movement and troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

It came two days after peace talks in Kuwait between the rebels and the government of exiled President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi were suspended without progress.

Yemen's conflict has intensified since March 2015, when the Iran-allied Houthi rebels advanced on the southern city of Aden, prompting Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni allies to launch an air campaign against the group.

"The total number of civilian casualties between March 2015 and 11 August 2016 stands at 10,270, including 3,704 killed and 6,566 injured," according to Shamdasani.

Saudi Arabia fears that the rebels will give its regional rival, Shiite Iran, a strategic foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.

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