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Yemeni official: Al-Bayda' province experiencing severe shortage of health supplies

A Yemeni official said on Sunday that the province of Al-Bayda' in central Yemen is suffering from a severe shortage in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and medical specialists due to the clashes between Al-Qaeda militants and armed tribesmen on the one hand, and the militant Al-Houthi group on the other, Anadolu news agency reported.

In a statement published on Yemen's Ministry of Defence website, Anadolu quoted Mohammed El-Samawi, the director of the Health Office in Al-Bayda', as saying that the medical centres in the Almanaseh area and the Husone Al-Tues area in the province of Al-Bayda' have completely been destroyed as a result of the confrontations.

El-Samawi called for the competent authorities in Yemen, particularly the Ministry of Health, to pay attention to the entire health sector in Al-Bayda', as it has been significantly damaged as a result of armed clashes in numerous areas of the province.

Al-Qaida militants, alongside tribal militants, have been fighting continuously for the past several days with the militant Al-Houthi group in various regions that belong to Ridaa' in the province of Al-Bayda', leaving many dead and wounded on both sides.

Since 21 September, the Shiite Houthi group has controlled the main institutions in the capital Sanaa. Yemeni officials and Arab and Western governments accuse Iran of supporting the Houthis with money and weapons, as part of the struggle for influence in the region between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Yemen's neighbour, a charge that Tehran denies.

Despite the Youthis reaching a peace and partnership agreement at the end of September with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the political stalemate in Yemen has continued and the country has witnessed an upsurge in violence.

Over the weekend, the Houthis and opposition parties signed an agreement to form a new technocratic government to resolve the country's political crisis. However, the subsequent murder of a leading opposition figure has potentially further escalated the crisis.

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