Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Dozens killed, including children, in Yemen air strikes

Dozens killed, including children, in Yemen air strikes

Saudi-led coalition air strikes on Thursday killed dozens of people, including children traveling on a bus through a market, in Yemen's Saada province, a Yemeni health official and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

The Saudi-led Coalition, which has been conducting a military campaign to oust the Houthi rebels, didn't immediately respond to CNN questions.

"A hospital supported by our team in Yemen received the bodies of 29 children under the age of 15 and 48 wounded, including 30 children", the ICRC said on Twitter.

A hospital supported by the aid group has received "dozens of dead and wounded", adding that "under worldwide humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict".

The rebel-run Al Masirah TV gave a different casualty toll, saying the attack killed 39 people and wounded 51, mainly children.

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

Colonel Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said the missile strike was aimed at a "legitimate target".

In July, a Badr 1 missile was sacked at Jizan Economic City, where Saudi Aramco is building a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery.

The previous evening, Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels, but shrapnel killed a Yemeni man and wounded 11 others in the southern Saudi city of Jazan.

The coalition that has been fighting Yemen's rebels since 2015 acknowledged responsibility for the strike, but claimed the bus was carrying "Huthi combatants".

"Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of ten".

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

"The air strikes targeted a bus full of school students in the middle of Dahyan market in Saada province while they were going to their school", the official said.

"US military support to our partners mitigates noncombatant casualties", said Pentagon spokeswoman Rebecca Rebarich, according to the statement.

The Houthi-controlled health ministry said almost 30 children were killed.

@AdamjohnsonNYC I just saw MSNBC do a short segment on how United States back Saudi Arabia dropped a bomb on a school bus in Yemen.

Col Al Maliki said the coalition was not intentionally targeting civilians, saying the forces used "a high standard measure for targeting, ... civilian casualties are a loss to the coalition and we can not accept high civilian casualties in Yemen".

"This latest air strike, only a week after the attacks on Hodeida city, demonstrates a continued disregard for human life and suffering", said Johan Mooij, the agency's country director in Yemen. That assistance has come under sharp criticism from Congress and the global community as civilian deaths have continued to multiply, even as the coalition promises not to target civilians.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in three years of war, according to the United Nations.

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