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At least 29 children killed in Saudi airstrike in Yemen

By Sheetal Sukhija, Saudi Arabia News
10 Aug 2018, 12:42 GMT+10

SANAA, Yemen - The Arab coalition, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and comprising primarily of Persian Gulf countries, continued its deadly campaign against Houthis in Yemen this week.

On Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that at least 29 children were killed in a Saudi-led coalition air strike in Yemen.

The organization said that the coalition airstrike struck a bus traveling in Yemen’s northern province of Saada, killing at least 29 children onboard, and leaving 30 others injured.

The organization cited officials at a local hospital as confirmed that  29 bodies of mainly children younger than 15 years of age had been brought to the hospital.

The official also noted that over all 40 people were injured, including 30 children. 

In a statement, Mirella Hodeib, Red Cross head of communications and spokesperson said, "(The hospital) is very busy. They've been receiving wounded and dead since the morning and it is nonstop. Putting children in harm's way is horrific and deplorable and making them pay such a price is unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, the airstrike and the subsequent incident involving the bus carrying children was reported by the country’s health ministry too, which is run by the rebel Houthi movement.

Figures provided by the health ministry stated that 50 were killed and 77 injured in the airstrike. 

According to the ministry, the airstrike hit the bus at a market in Dahyan, in Yemen’s northern province of Saada.

It said that the bus was carrying school children back home, from a field trip when their vehicle was struck at the market.

The ministry said that the market place where the bus was struck, was supposed to be the first stop of the day.

Meanwhile, the Houthi media broadcast graphic footage that showed bodies of children sewn around. 

Humanitarian crisis

After the Houthis seized control of much of the west of the country in early 2015, forcing President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee abroad.

Since then, Yemen has been devastated by the growing conflict that has left a trail of death and destruction and provided the Iran back group with more powers.

Alarmed by the rise of a group they saw as an Iranian proxy, the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia and seven other Arab states intervened in an attempt to restore the internationally recognized government in Yemen.

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

The United Nations has said that Yemen is suffering a humanitarian crisis that eclipses even Syria’s.

The war, which has created the world's largest food security emergency has also led to a cholera outbreak that is thought to have affected a million people.

Further, the fighting and a partial blockade by the coalition has also left 22 million people in need of humanitarian aid, with 8.4 million on the verge of famine - a figure that could rise to 10 million by the end of this year. 

Commenting on Thursday’s strike, the coalition backed by Yemen's government, said that its actions were "legitimate.”

While the coalition has argued that it never targets civilians deliberately, Human Rights groups have accused it of bombing markets, schools, hospitals and residential areas.

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