Saudi coalition's attack kills schoolchildren in Yemen

yemen-airstrike-reuters A Yemeni man holds a boy who was injured by an airstrike in Saada, Yemen | Reuters

Dozens of people, including children on a bus, were killed when a Saudi-led coalition air strike hit the Saada province in Yemen.

The airstrikes targeted missile launchers used to attack the southern Saudi city of Jizan on Wednesday, the coalition said. It claimed the attack was carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam said the coalition showed “clear disregard for civilian life” as the attack had targeted a crowded public place in the city.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a strike hit the bus driving children in Dahyan market, in northern Saada.

The ICRC said on its Twitter account that its medical team at the ICRC-supported hospital in Saada had received the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old. The hospital also received 48 wounded people, among them 30 children. But these numbers were from just one hospital.

Saudi Arabia and Sunni Muslim allies intervened in Yemen’s war in 2015 against the Houthis, who control the most populous areas of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, and drove the internationally recognised government into exile in 2014.

The United States and other Western powers provide arms and intelligence to the alliance, and human rights groups have criticised them over coalition air strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

A US military spokeswoman said US forces were not involved in Thursday’s air strike.