Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Air strikes kill schoolchildren in Yemen

Air strikes kill schoolchildren in Yemen

At least 29 children were killed Thursday in an attack on a bus in rebel-held northern Yemen, where a Saudi-led military coalition said it carried out a strike, the Red Cross said.

Yemeni tribal elders told the Associated Press that the bus was hit as it passed through the Dahyan market and that it was transporting local civilians, including many school children.

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said that a hospital it supports in Saada had received 29 dead bodies of "mainly children" under 15 years of age, and 40 injured, including 30 children.

"Our noncombat support focuses on improving coalition processes and procedures, especially regarding compliance with the law of armed conflict and best practices for reducing the risk of civilian casualties", the statement said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an "independent and prompt" probe, while State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the USA is "calling the Saudi led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident".

The coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in Yemen's war in 2015 to unseat the Houthis and restore the internationally recognised government in exile.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, which is fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, said it was targeting rebel missile launchers.

The coalition fighting alongside the government against Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen said it carried out a "legitimate military action" in the area. But the coalition denied carrying out any attacks in the city, saying it follows a "strict and transparent approach based on the rules worldwide law". He also accused Houthis of using kids as "tools and covers for their terrorist acts".

Saudi warplanes attacked a school bus in northern Yemen on Thursday, hitting the bus just as it was passing through a crowded marketplace.

Houthi media broadcast what appears to be graphic scenes of the aftermath, depicting children drenched in blood and burned black by the blast.

@AdamjohnsonNYC I just saw MSNBC do a short segment on how United States back Saudi Arabia dropped a bomb on a school bus in Yemen.

"Targeting Saudis and residents in Saudi is a red line", coalition spokesperson Turki al-Malki later told Al Arabiya TV.

"The victims were the children in the bus, passersby and merchants in the market, and some injuries are serious, so the number of deaths may increase". They say their missile attacks on the kingdom are in retaliation for air raids on Yemen by the Western-backed coalition.

So far, almost 10,000 people have died in the war in Yemen, which has unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The coalition faces widespread worldwide criticism for its airstrikes in Yemen that kill civilians.

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