Monday, 17 December, 2018

Dozens killed, including children on a bus, in Yemen air strikes

Saudi-led coalition air strikes on bus carrying children in Yemen leaves 'dozens' dead Airstrike by U.S. ally on bus carrying Yemeni children kills and wounds scores
Ray Hunter | 10 August, 2018, 11:25

The UN has joined the United States in calling for an investigation into a Saudi-led coalition attack on a bus in Yemen that the Red Cross says killed at least 29 children on Thursday.

The Saudi-led coalition called the airstrike a "legitimate military operation", and a retaliation to a Houthi ballistic missile that targeted the kingdom's Jizan province on Wednesday night, according to Saudi Arabia's official news agency.

On Twitter, the Red Cross in Yemen said a hospital it supports had received 29 dead children, all under 15 years old, and another 48 injured people.

He added that this operation was "implemented in accordance with global humanitarian law and customary rules".

Al Masirah TV aired dramatic images of wounded children, their clothes and schoolbags covered with blood as they lay on hospital stretchers.

An airstrike in the north reportedly killed at least 50, more than half of them children.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition, which intervened in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government to power after it was driven out of the capital Sanaa by the rebels.

Yemeni tribal leaders told the AP the Saudi-led USA -backed coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels was behind the airstrike.

Fragments from the Houthi missile launched at Jizan Industrial City had killed one Yemeni civilian and wounded 11, Saudi state media said earlier on Thursday.

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Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdul-Salam said the coalition showed "clear disregard for civilian life" as the attack had targeted a crowded public place in the city.

The alliance also accused the Houthis of using children as human shields.

"The air strikes often target civilians in Saada, so we appeal the global community to intervene to stop the Saudis killing them". A Saudi Arabian blockade has contributed to starvation and disease while a United Nations report found the Saudi-led bombing campaign - carried out with US support - has hit schools, even weddings.

"(The air strikes) conformed to worldwide and humanitarian laws", the coalition statement said, quoting spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki.

"We call on the Saudi-led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident", said Nauert.

Thursday's attack marks a grim milestone in a war that lately has seen yet another escalation, as coalition-backed Yemeni government forces have made a recent push to reclaim the key port city of Hodeidah from rebels.

"It's hard to believe we live in a world where children should live in fear of such attacks, yet here we are", she added.

Yemen's war has left almost 10,000 people dead since 2015 and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The U.N. special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has been pushing to bring the warring parties to restart peace talks.

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