43 killed in Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen

43 killed in Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen

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.

Footage from the scene, in the area of northern Yemen that is the heartland of the Houthi rebels fighting the recognised government, showed children as young as six being pulled from the wreckage. Turki al-Malki said the attack was "a legitimate military action, conducted in conformity with global humanitarian law".

A child lies in hospital after the school bus he was on was allegedly attacked by the Saudi-led coalition.

ICRC said one of the hospitals it supports was treating the wounded.

"The secretary general condemns the airstrike today by the coalition forces in Sa'ada, which hit a busy market area in Majz district and impacted a bus carrying children from a summer camp", Farhan Haq, the United Nations chief's deputy spokesman, said in a statement on Thursday.

In another video, which appears to show the immediate aftermath of the strike, several lifeless bodies of children lay under a blown-up bus.

Saada is a stronghold of Huthi rebels, whom the Saudi-led coalition are fighting in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's forces.

"Putting children in harm's way is horrific and deplorable and making them pay such a price is unacceptable", she said.

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

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The bus was struck as it was driving through a market in the rebel-held province of Saada, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV.

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

They say their missile attacks on the kingdom are in retaliation for air raids on Yemen by the Western-backed coalition. It also said the missile was launched "deliberately to target residential and populated areas".

"Under global humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict", it added.

The coalition denied responsibility for those attacks.

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".

"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.

Yemen's war has left almost 10,000 people dead since 2015 and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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