GENEVA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Several people including five children were killed in airstrikes on Wednesday in Yemen's capital Sanaa, a spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said here on Friday.
"Several people were killed, and dozens were injured when airstrikes hit Sana'a city," said OCHA Geneva spokesperson Jens Laerke at a UN briefing here where UN agencies highlighted recent flare-ups in fighting in different parts of Yemen.
"Preliminary reports indicate that five children have died and 16 more are wounded; additional causalities, including health workers have been reported," he said, citing Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen.
Battles raging between the Yemeni government forces and the Houthis continued in the country's southern province of al-Dhalea, left five soldiers and seven rebels killed on Wednesday, a military official had told Xinhua.
UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said at the Geneva briefing that refugees are known to be among those injured and affected in the attack on Sanna.
A Somali refugee woman and her daughter are among those now receiving critical treatment in hospital.
"Incidents like this which result in the tragic loss of civilian life and injury continue to illustrate the fact that the war in Yemen is taking a brutal toll on the civilian population," said Mahecic.
UN World Food Programme (WFP) spokesperson Herve Verhoosel said: "WFP is closely monitoring the volatile situation across Yemen. The recent flare-up in hostilities in Hodeidah, Sanaa, and Dhalea is deeply concerning."
The WFP was working to minimize the impact of these hostilities to ensure its ability to safely and efficiently reach those most in need.
He stressed "again" that the WFP is calling for free and unrestricted access across the country.
"This is essential if we want to reach our target of providing food to 12 million people in Yemen, people who don't know where their next meal will come from," said Verhoosel.
A civil war has plagued Yemen since late 2014 after Houthi rebels revolted and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.
Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition that has intervened in Yemen's conflict since 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthi rebels forced him into exile.