An airstrike blamed on the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen hit a bus in a busy market on Thursday in the country's north, killing at least 20 people, including children, Yemeni tribal leaders said. A hospital supported by the aid group has received "dozens of dead and wounded", adding that "under worldwide humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict".
The airstrike hit a bus that was ferrying civilians, including many school children, the elders said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Col. Al-Maliki stressed: "The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition will take all deterrent measures against such barbaric, frivolous launches in conformity with the worldwide humanitarian law, and those who support these terrorist crimes will be held accountable for their actions".
In 2014, the Houthis overran the Yemeni capital and seized control of much of northern Yemen as well as a string of ports on the Red Sea.
The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said that a hospital it supports in Saada had received 29 dead bodies of "mainly children" under 15 years of age, and 40 injured, including 30 children.
The bus was struck as it was driving through a market in the rebel-held province of Saada, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV.
It was unclear how many air strikes were carried out in the area. "The air strikes often target civilians in Saada, so we appeal the global community to intervene to stop the Saudis killing them".
So far, almost 10,000 people have died in the war in Yemen, which has unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.More news: United were 'suspicious' of signing Diego Godin for one reason
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"Shrapnel from the intercepted missile scattered over residential areas, martyring a Yemeni resident and wounding 11", said Col Turki Al Malki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen's government.
"Today's attack in Saada was a legitimate military operation. and was carried out in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law", the Arabic-language statement said.
There was a horrifying attack Thursday in Yemen - a Middle Eastern country torn apart by a 3-year-old civil war.
Saudi Arabia says this was a legitimate military operation, targeting Yemeni rebels backed by Iran, its arch enemy.
The attack has been blamed on the Saudi-led coalition waging war against Yemen's Houthi rebels.
The Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television quoted a statement by the Saudi-led coalition as saying that "Thursday's airstrikes targeted Iranian-allied Houthi rebels who fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday at the Saudi commercial city in border Jazan region".
"(The air strikes) conformed to worldwide and humanitarian laws", the coalition statement said, quoting spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki. 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 UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.