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

Aug 10, 2018, 02:59
Dozens killed, including children on a bus, in Yemen air strikes

But the International Committee of the Red Cross said the strike hit a bus filled with children in the Huthi stronghold of Saada, causing dozens of casualties.

"The Secretary-General calls on all parties to respect their obligations under worldwide humanitarian law, in particular the fundamental rules of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack", his spokesperson, Farhan Haq, said Thursday.

Colonel al-Maliki said the coalition will take all necessary actions against the criminal, terrorist acts of pro-Iranian Houthi militias, such as the recruitment and placement of children on battle fronts and "using them as tools to cover for their terrorist acts".

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

In the Yemeni capital, rebel-run Al Masirah TV gave a different number, saying the attack killed 39 people and wounded 51, mainly children.

Nearly 10,000 people - two-thirds of them civilians - have been killed and 55,000 others injured in the fighting, according to the United Nations.

Saudi Arabia shot down a missile fired by the Houthis on Wednesday, with debris killing a Yemeni man and wounding 11 others, the coalition said.

Images broadcast by Houthi media showed scores of bloody children, some still wearing their backpacks as they were loaded onto stretchers.

Yemeni tribal elders told the Associated Press that the bus was hit as it passed through the Dahyan market and that it was transporting local civilians, including many school children.

The missile was sacked from Amran province in northern Yemen on Wednesday night, the coalition said in a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency.

Global aid groups were quick to condemn the air strike.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, which is fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, said it was targeting rebel missile launchers.

The Huthis have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against Saudi Arabia, which Riyadh usually says it intercepts.

Saudi Arabia and Sunni Muslim allies intervened in Yemen's war in 2015 against the Houthis, who control the most populous areas of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, and drove the internationally recognized government into exile in 2014. It also said the missile was launched "deliberately to target residential and populated areas".

The Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen remained brazenly defiant on its new crime, calling the massacre a "legitimate action".

"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.

The war in the impoverished country has left almost 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Earlier this week, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, convened a consultative meeting in the United Kingdom of 22 Yemeni public figures and women activists as part of his efforts to end the war.

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