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43 killed in Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen

IANS  |  Sana'a 

At least 43 people, mostly children believed to be under the age of 10, were killed and several injured when Saudi-led coalition airstrikes hit buses in northern on Thursday, officials said.

The buses were targeted as they were passing through Dahyan market in the rebel-held province of Saada, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV.

"A total of 43 people, mostly pupils under the age of 10, were killed and 64 were injured when two Saudi-led airstrikes hit passenger buses in Dahyan popular market," Yahya Shayem, of Health Office, told

"The victims were mostly pupils who were on their way to attend a summer school in Dahyan," he said.

The (ICRC) said a hospital it supported in had received dozens of casualties after the attack.

The Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television quoted a statement by the Saudi-led coalition as saying that "Thursday's airstrikes targeted Iranian-allied rebels who fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday at the Saudi commercial city in border Jazan region."

The coalition, backing in a war with the Houthis, said its actions were "legitimate", according to the

In response, called the coalition statement "absolutely ridiculous".

"They killed pupils driving to school ... this is a war crime," Abdulsalam tweeted.

The spokesman's comments came at the same time the coalition warplanes hit the Houthi-controlled capital 11 times, with no reports of casualties yet. The airstrikes targeted and two camps.

Houthi media aired gruesome footage appearing to show the bodies of children in school uniform. Other footage showed a young boy being escorted to a hospital, with blood all over his face.

The ICRC stressed that "under international humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict", while the of the called it a "grotesque, shameful" attack that showed "blatant disregard for rules of war".

It was not immediately clear whether the bus was the target of airstrikes, but coalition Col. said the attack was "a legitimate action, conducted in conformity with international humanitarian law".

A coalition led by has been carrying out airstrikes since 2015 against Houthi positions -- causing thousands of civilian deaths in the process, according to war monitors -- in an attempt to restore the internationally-recognized government of

Last week, the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes struck the gate of hospital and adjacent fish market in Yemen's port city of Hodeidah, killing 52 civilians and wounding 102 others.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 09 2018. 20:16 IST