Shelling blocks UN aid chief visit to Yemen’s Taiz

U.N. aid chief Stephen O'Brien on Tuesday cancelled a visit to Yemen's third city Taiz when shelling and a rebel checkpoint blocked his route, several sources said.

A U.N. source in Yemen told AFP that O'Brien, who was in a convoy travelling to the conflict zone, had been forced to cancel his visit to Taiz "for security reasons".

The convoy that was travelling from Yemen's capital Sanaa had to change course due to shelling on the road leading to the southwestern city, said police captain Oussama Al-Charaabi, the head of government security services in Taiz.

The U.N. source said O'Brien was now slated to visit a school in the southwestern Ibb province housing internally displaced Yemenis from the Red Sea coastal town of Mokha, controlled by government loyalists since January.

The United Nations has called for $2.1 billion in humanitarian aid for Yemen, where U.N. mediation and seven ceasefire accords have failed to end a conflict that O'Brien said has cost more than 7,500 lives and left 40,000 people wounded.

Source: National News Agency