GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations has verified 5,144 civilian deaths in the war in Yemen, mainly from airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, and an international investigation is urgently needed, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said on Monday.

"The minimal efforts made towards accountability over the past year are insufficient to respond to the gravity of the continuing and daily violations involved in this conflict," Zeid said in a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

It is the third year running that he has appealed for an international inquiry into human rights violations in Yemen where a two-year conflict pits the Saudi-backed Yemen government against Iran-supported Houthi rebels.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles)

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