Airstrike on children's bus in Yemen kills at least 20

Airstrike on children's bus in Yemen kills at least 20

The coalition's spokesperson said the operation sought to target the militants responsible for a missile intercepted over Saudi civilian territory on Wednesday.

The Houthis' al-Masirah TV reported that 39 people had been killed and 51 wounded, saying they were "mostly children".

"The coalition will take all necessary measures against the terrorist, criminal acts of the Huthi militia, such as recruiting child soldiers, throwing them in battlefields and using them as tools", coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said, referring to Thursday's attack.

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

"How many more children will suffer or die before those who can act, do by putting a stop to this scourge?"

The International Committee of the Red Cross said medics in the Yemeni city of Saada, where the attack took place, had received the bodies of the children, all of them under 15 years of age.

The coalition said it had carried out a "legitimate military action", targeting a bus in response for a deadly missile attack on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday by Houthi rebels.

"Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of ten".

"We are trying to get rid of the arms manifestations in the province, and to carry on the efforts exerted by the UAE to counter the terrorism groups in Yemen", Col Mohammed Salem Al Buhar, commander of the elite forces in Shabwa, told The National.

Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

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"The Secretary-General calls on all parties to respect their obligations under global humanitarian law, in particular the fundamental rules of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack", his spokesperson, Farhan Haq, said Thursday.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, which is fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, said it was targeting rebel missile launchers.

Saudi Arabia said it shot down a rebel missile, with shrapnel leaving a Yemeni resident dead and 11 wounded.

The attack was also denounced by the United Nations children agency, UNICEF.

Worldwide rights groups repeated calls for an end to the war and strongly condemned the bus attack and other civilian massacres.

In a tweet, the International Committee for the Red Cross said the attack targeted a bus carrying children in Dahyan market in Saada province, which borders Saudi Arabia.

The United States called on the Saudi-led coalition to launch an investigation into the events that unfolded in Yemen on Thursday.

"It's hard to believe we live in a world where children should live in fear of such attacks, yet here we are", she added.

Impoverished Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is now in the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

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.

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