Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

39 people killed, 51 others injured, mostly children, in Yemen bus attack

39 people killed, 51 others injured, mostly children, in Yemen bus attack

Airstrikes on a market in northern Yemen on Thursday killed dozens of people, including at least 29 children in a school bus, drawing worldwide condemnation and putting a spotlight on a USA -backed Saudi military coalition accused of carrying out the attack.

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

The coalition did not specify the target, but the International Committee of the Red Cross said the attack hit a bus filled with children, causing dozens of casualties.

CNN reported that dozens of children under the age of 15 were killed in the attack, and many more were injured, according to reports from Yemeni officials and the Red Cross. 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".

Health officials in Saada told Al Jazeera that 43 people were killed and 61 were wounded in the attack, the majority of whom were children.

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

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

"The Coalition is targeting the militants responsible for planning and targeting civilians which resulted in killing of one and injuring 11 in Jazan", it said.

The Iran-backed Houthis have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against Saudi Arabia, which Riyadh usually says it intercepts. The Saudi coalition has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015.

Houthi media broadcast what appears to be graphic scenes of the aftermath, depicting children drenched in blood and burned black by the blast. He also accused the Houthis of recruiting children and using them in the battlefields to cover for their actions. It also said the missile was launched "deliberately to target residential and populated areas".

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The coalition fighting alongside the government against Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen said it carried out a "legitimate military action" in the area.

The United States and other Western powers provide arms and intelligence to the alliance, and human rights groups have criticised them over coalition air strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

Worldwide rights groups repeated calls for an end to the war and strongly condemned the bus attack and other civilian massacres.

The coalition denied responsibility for those attacks.

The Yemen war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and driven the country to the verge of starvation, according to the United Nations.

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After today's strike, Lise Grande, United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, urged all parties to come to the table.

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