Saudi-Led Air Strike On A Bus In Yemen Kills 29 Children

Image      An ICRC-supported hospital received many dead and wounded Red Cross says

Image An ICRC-supported hospital received many dead and wounded Red Cross says

Saudi-led coalition air strikes have killed dozens of people including at least 29 children travelling on a bus in Yemen's northern Saada province, Yemeni medical sources and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have said.

As many as 35 were also wounded in the attack, which took place in the Dahyan market in Saada province, a stronghold of the rebels known as Houthis, the elders said.

Johannes Bruwer, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation to Yemen, said in a tweet that most of those killed by the airstrike were children less than 10 years of age.

The Huthi' Al-Masirah TV reported that 39 people had been killed and 51 wounded, "mostly children".

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington did not have the full details of what happened on the ground, but said the U.S. was concerned about the reports.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been leading a military campaign in support of the internationally recognised government in Yemen and against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia shot down a missile fired by the Huthis on Wednesday, with debris killing a Yemeni man and wounding 11 others, the coalition said.

In July, a Badr 1 missile was sacked at Jizan Economic City, where Saudi Aramco is building a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery.

ICRC said one of the hospitals it supports was treating the wounded.

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"The attack carried out today by the coalition in Saada was against those people responsible for the ballistic missile attack last night ... the allegation [that civilians were targeted] is coming by the Houthis, and it's still an allegation", Col Al Maliki said.

UNICEF said in a statement that "many children were reportedly killed and injured" in the attack and that all of the children were reportedly under the age of 15.

It accused the Houthis of using children as human shields.

Thursday's heavy toll sparked calls from both United Nations chief and the US State Department for the strike to be investigated.

Houthi media broadcast graphic footage appearing to show the bodies of children.

The Red Cross Yemen branch noted that under worldwide humanitarian law, civilians should be protected during times of war. The bus was ferrying local civilians, including many children, according to Yemeni tribal leaders who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The Houthis have launched a series of missile strikes on the kingdom, including the capital, Riyadh, over the past year.

Yemen's war has left almost 10,000 people dead since 2015 and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The U.S. said it was not involved in Thursday's assault.

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