Gunmen kill 2 Yemeni Red Cross workers in northern area controlled by rebels



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SANAA, Yemen — Gunmen shot dead two Yemenis working for the International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday as they were traveling from the northern Saada province to the capital, Sanaa, the group said.

Rima Kamal, an ICRC spokeswoman in Sanaa, says the two were killed in Amran province.

Yemen has been mired in violence since Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, swept down from their stronghold in Saada and captured Sanaa last September. Both Amran and Saada are fully controlled by the Houthis.

The Houthis are fighting alongside army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against forces loyal to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi as well as southern separatists and local militias. A Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition has been launching airstrikes against the rebels since March.

The conflict has killed over 2,100 civilians, according to the United Nations.

Saudi Arabia's civil defense said Tuesday that seven people were wounded when a missile fired from inside Yemen struck three vehicles in al-Tuwal village in the Jizan border province.

Last month, pro-government forces backed by Saudi-led airstrikes drove the rebels out of Yemen's southern port city of Aden after heavy fighting.

In a Wednesday report, Human Rights Watch says both sides committed serious abuses against civilians and fighters in their custody during fighting there, with southern militants killing at least seven Houthi prisoners since March.

"Southern forces that have regained control of Aden should end abuses against prisoners and do all they can to establish law and order in the city," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for the U.S.-based rights group. "The Houthis need to release anyone wrongfully detained and account for everyone they are holding."

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