The Houthis rejected two UN proposals to end their blockade. A truce between the warring parties that initially took effect in April and was extended in June called for the reopening of roads around Taiz and elsewhere in Yemen.
According to Fathi al-Saqqaf, an eyewitness, a group of children were playing in an open area in Taiz’s Zaid al-Moshki neighborhood when the attack took place on Saturday. A house was also damaged in the shelling, the eyewitness said.
Moammar al-Iryani, information minister in the internationally recognized government, said one of the injured children died on Sunday. He blamed the Houthis for the attack, which came amid UN efforts to extend the truce again in August.
Hans Grundberg, the UN envoy, said he was “particularly alarmed” by the attack.
“Killing and injuring children is particularly reprehensible,” he said. “The people of Taiz have suffered tremendously…and they too need the truce to honor them in all its aspects.”
A Houthi spokesman did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Since April, the two sides have traded accusations of truce violations, but the ceasefire has essentially held, the first nationwide halt to fighting in the past six years of the conflict.
The war in Yemen, the poorest nation in the Arab world, erupted in 2014, when the Houthis descended from their northern enclave and took control of the capital, Sanaa, forcing the government into exile in Saudi Arabia. . The Saudi-led coalition went to war in early 2015 in an attempt to restore the government to power.
The conflict, which eventually escalated into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, killed more than 150,000 people, including more than 14,500 civilians, and created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, pushing millions of Yemenis to the brink of starvation.