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Yemen: 16 civilians killed, including children, during Saudi raids

September 25, 2019 at 3:35 am

Houthi gunmen in Sanaa (AP)

Sixteen civilians, including seven children and four women, were killed on Tuesday during two airstrikes targeting a house in the Houthi-held Qa’atabah district belonging to the southern Yemeni province of Dhale, according to a local official and a doctor.

“The whole family was killed. The rest of the victims were paramedics living in the village killed when they rushed to help the victims” after the first strike, “and when the plane returned and killed them” said the official during a phone call he had with Agence France Presse (AFP).

A doctor at Al-Thawra Hospital in the nearby Ibb governorate, where the bodies of the dead were taken, confirmed that 16 people were killed during the attack. He further explained that among the dead there were “seven children and four women.”

The local official said the Saudi-led military coalition is likely to be behind the airstrike. The rebels also accused the coalition of carrying out two strikes, via their affiliate channel Al-Masirah.

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The coalition did not respond to AFP questions about the attack. An eyewitness said: “The bodies were pulled from under the rubble and were cut into pieces.”

Likewise, yesterday morning, five civilians from the same family were killed during airstrikes waged by the Saudi-led coalition in Amran province in Yemen.

Al-Masirah channel quoted Houthis as saying that the coalition waged airstrikes on a mosque where the family had taken refuge when the attacks started. Two children belonging to the same family were missing and being looked for under the rubble.

On September 20, in a unilateral move, the Houthis announced ceasing the targeting of Saudi territory while retaining the “right of reply”.

Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi called on the Saudi-UAE alliance to take advantage of his group’s offered initiative to stop its bombing of Saudi territory in return for the coalition ceasing the bombing in Yemen. Riyadh responded to Houthi initiative with apprehension, saying it is waiting for action and not words.