Yemen war: 'Children killed' in bus attack

  • Yemen war: 'Children killed' in bus attack

Yemen war: 'Children killed' in bus attack

The head of the humanitarian organisation's delegation in the country, Johannes Bruwer, later tweeted that "scores" had been killed and "even more injured, most under the age of 10".

The children were traveling on a school bus that was hit by a Saudi coalition airstrike in Dahyan, the BBC reported.

The Houthis, an Iran-allied group that controls much of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, said it fired a missile at the Jizan Industrial City in southern Saudi Arabia, according to the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV. The coalition said Wednesday's projectile, fired toward the southwestern Saudi city of Jizan, was intercepted and destroyed but its fragments caused the casualties.

The coalition, which is backing Yemen's government in a war with the Houthis, said its actions were "legitimate".

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 military action in Saada province, which lies between Amran and Saudi Arabia, was in line with global humanitarian law, he said. It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties in those strikes.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), an outspoken critic of the United States' support for the Saudi coalition, expressed fury over the attack and demanded once again that lawmakers end their complicity in the war. The coalition faces widespread worldwide criticism for its airstrikes in Yemen that kill civilians.

The Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014 and overthrew the internationally recognised government led by President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi during a transition of power from former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The simultaneous power vacuum and crippling of Yemen's already-weak health and security infrastructures have enabled al Qaeda and ISIS affiliates to operate, albeit under threat of USA airstrike, and unleashed a tsunami of starvation and disease.

The coalition denied responsibility for those attacks.

The US, the United Kingdom and other Western powers have been providing arms and intelligence to the alliance in the course of the war, which has unleashed the world's worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, according to the UN.

The fight for the port of Hodeida, a key lifeline for supplies and aid for Yemen's population on the brink of starvation, has become the latest battleground in the devastating war. We urge all parties to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities, return to the negotiation table to commit to a ceasefire and cooperate with the U.N. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.

The Houthis have fired dozens of missiles into the kingdom in recent months, part of a three-year-old conflict widely seen as a proxy battle between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. He recently announced plans to invite Yemen's warring parties to Geneva on September 6 to hold the first round of consultations.