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Airstrikes Kill Dozens Including Children in Yemen

10 August 2018, 06:00 | Devin Moran

Airstrike on children's bus in Yemen kills at least 20

One dead, several wounded after Saudi Arabia 'intercepts Yemen missile'

It accused the Houthis of using children as human shields and said the strikes were carried out in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law.

The coalition, which is backing Yemen's government in a war with the Houthis, said its actions were "legitimate".

Among the dead were children on a school bus that had been traveling through Dahyan Market, located in Yemen's Saada province, at the time of the attack.

"Our shops were open and shoppers were walking around as usual".

Exact splits between children and people who were shopping at the market is not yet clear.

The Huthi' Al-Masirah TV reported that 39 people had been killed and 51 wounded, "mostly children".

That was the toll at just one hospital.

White plastic body bags filled the floor of a room in the ICRC-supported hospital. "Why are children being killed?" tweeted UNICEF's resident representative in Yemen, Meritxell Relano.

The coalition has insisted it never deliberately targets civilians but human rights groups have accused it of bombing markets, schools, hospitals and residential areas.

The health ministry run by the rebel Houthi movement said 43 people were killed. "I am extremely saddened by what happened in Saada".




"We are certainly concerned about the reports that there was an attack that resulted in the deaths of civilians".

The ICRC stressed that "under global humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict", while the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland called it a "grotesque, shameful" attack that showed "blatant disregard for rules of war".

Unicef, the United Nations children's agency, said on Twitter that there were "no more excuses...." Say: I want the State Dept to condemn the Saudis for bombing Yemeni children and I want the USA to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Asked about the airstrike by the USA -backed coalition, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters "we are certainly concerned".

"But we have seen it drop since the USA pulled out".

The Saudi government issued a statement on August 9 and described the strike as "a legitimate military action" and was "conducted in conformity with the worldwide humanitarian law". Its last air strike in Yemen was Jul 24 against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, she said, adding that the command seeks to help partners mitigate civilian casualties.

It said the air strike was aimed at missile launchers used to attack the southern Saudi city of Jizan on Wednesday, where a Yemeni civilian was killed.

The Iran-aligned Houthis regularly fire into Saudi Arabia and have targeted its capital, Riyadh, with ballistic missiles.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition, which is backing Yemen's government in a war with the Houthis.

It is with the stated aim of dislodging the Houthis, and restoring the previous government, that the Sunni coalition has waged a years-long airstrike campaign in the country with the support of the U.S. Since large-scale fighting erupted in 2015, the ensuing violence has left more than 10,000 people killed and the country's health infrastructure so badly battered, almost 18 million Yemenis lack reliable access to food.



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