Thursday 13 December 2018

43 killed as airstrike in Yemen hits school bus

A Yemeni child receives treatment at a hospital after being wounded in a reported airstrike on the Iran-backed Huthi rebels’ stronghold province of Saada. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A Yemeni child receives treatment at a hospital after being wounded in a reported airstrike on the Iran-backed Huthi rebels’ stronghold province of Saada. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Josie Ensor

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a bus carrying children in rebel-held northern Yemen yesterday, killing more than 40 and wounding dozens.

The bus had been travelling through a busy market in the Dahyan district in northern Saada at the time of the raid, which the Houthi rebels' health ministry said killed 43 people, 29 of them children.

According to a local Houthi official, the children were on their way to a summer camp.

"Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of 10," Johannes Bruwer, head of delegation for the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen, said in a tweet. ICRC said one of the hospitals it supports was treating the wounded.

Footage from the clinic showed young children, some still wearing their backpacks, bleeding and apparently injured.

"It is high time for these relapsing tragedies to stop in Yemen," said Robert Mardini, the ICRC's regional director.

"No one should allow putting children in harm's way and making them pay such an unacceptable price."

The Houthi rebels control much of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.

The Dahyan district hit yesterday lies close to the border with Saudi Arabia.

In recent weeks, rebels have fired missiles into the neighbouring kingdom, including on Wednesday in an attack which left one dead.

Colonel Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said the attack in Saada targeted the rebels who had fired a missile at the kingdom's south, killing one person and wounding 11 others.

He said the attack was carried out "in accordance with international and humanitarian law and customs".

The coalition intervened in the conflict in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government to power after it was driven out of Sanaa by Shia rebels.

The coalition, which receives logistical support and funding from the US and UK, has been criticised for its indiscriminate bombing on civilian areas.

Yesterday's strike was a relatively high single-day death toll for the war, which has so far claimed the lives of some 10,000 people.

It has been described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, has been pushing to bring the warring parties to restart peace talks. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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