Saudi-led coalition air strikes today killed dozens of people, including children travelling on a bus, in Yemen’s Saada province, Yemeni medical sources and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.
The Western-backed alliance fighting the Houthi group in Yemen said the air strikes targeted missile launchers used to attack the southern Saudi industrial city of Jizan, killing a Yemeni civilian there, a statement carried by the state news agency SPA said.
It accused the Houthis of using children as human shields.
“Today’s attack in Saada was a legitimate military operation … and was carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law,” the Arabic-language statement said.
The ICRC said one attack hit the bus driving children in Dahyan market, in northern Saada, adding hospitals there had received dozens of dead and wounded.
It was unclear how many children were killed and how many air strikes were carried out in the area, in northern Yemen, near the border with Saudi Arabia.
Abdul-Ghani Nayeb, head of a health department in Saada told Reuters that the death toll rose to 43, with 61 wounded.
“Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of 10,” Johannes Bruwer, head of delegation for the ICRC in Yemen, said in a Twitter post.
— Johannes Bruwer (@JohannesBruwer1) August 9, 2018
Saudi Arabia has led an Arabic coalition in Yemen against the Houthis since 2015 after the group took control of the capital Sanaa and forced the internationally recognised government in to exile.
It has launched thousands of air strikes in a campaign to restore the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Errant strikes have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.
The Yemen war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than two million and driven the country to the verge of famine, according to the United Nations.