Washington demands probe into Yemen bus strike

10 August, 2018, 15:43 | Author: Angel Logan
  • A doctor tends a boy injured by an airstrike in Saada Yemen

At least 29 children died and 30 children were injured in a Saudi coalition airstrike in Yemen, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

Turki al-Maliki said the kingdom's air defense had intercepted a ballistic missile fired by the Houthi rebels at a densely populated civilian area in Jizan, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The alliance says it does not intentionally target civilians and has set up a committee to probe alleged mass casualty air strikes, which has mostly cleared the coalition of any blame.

He said this made the attack a "legitimate military action in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law".

In the Yemeni capital, rebel-run Al Masirah TV gave a different number, saying the attack killed 39 people and wounded 51, mainly children.

Asked about the airstrike by the USA -backed coalition, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters "we are certainly concerned".

The missile was sacked from the rebel-held Yemeni province of Amran towards Jizan, the coalition said.

"The interception resulted in projection of fragments throughout some residential areas, which caused the martyrdom of a Yemeni resident, and injuries among 11 civilians", the Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthis in Yemen's civil war said in a statement reported by SPA on Thursday.

"Our support to the coalition consists of aerial refueling and intelligence support to assist our partners in securing their borders from cross-border attacks from the Houthis".

The group's head of delegation in Yemen, Johannes Bruwer, tweeted "scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of 10". He also accused the Houthis of recruiting children and using them in the battlefields to cover for their actions.

The bus was said to have been stationary when the airstrike hit as the driver stopped for drink, with most of the children still inside.

Saudi Arabia, the driving force behind a coalition of its Arab neighbors, saw no reason to apologize, however.

"We call on the Saudi-led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident", said Nauert.

The children were reportedly on a field trip, when their bus was hit by an airstrike.

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

On Wednesday, a Saudi-led coalition spokesman Col.

A U.S. military spokeswoman said USA forces were not involved in Thursday's air strike.

Wednesday's attack brings the tally to 167 rebel missiles launched since 2015, according to the coalition, which that year joined the Yemeni government's fight against Houthi rebels.

The Yemen war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than two million and driven the country to the verge of starvation, according to the United Nations.

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