Saudi airstrike in Yemen leaves 20 civilians dead

People stand on the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa. | AP

"Most of those killed are believed to be from the same family".

Injuries were also reported, according to UNHCR, with a number of people taken to nearby hospitals.

Worldwide rights groups have accused the coalition of bombing civilian gatherings, markets, hospitals, and residential areas across Yemen since the beginning of its campaign against Houthi rebels in 2015.

Coalition-backed forces recaptured the port of Mokha earlier this year as part of a major ongoing offensive to drive rebels from Yemen's lengthy coastline. They aim to restore the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The civilians killed in the attack were refugees fleeing embattled Mawza district in Taiz governorate aboard a packed vehicle and were understood to be from the same family, UNHCR said.

"It also illustrates the difficulties in the delivery of humanitarian protection and assistance in Yemen", Spindler added.




The Saudi-led coalition has often been accused of civilian casualties, with a 2016 report by the Yemen Data Project concluding that one-third of Saudi airstrikes hit hospitals, schools, and other civilian targets.

Dr Abdullah al-Rabeeah, a former Saudi minister and now head of the country's state aid agency, told The Independent "there is no intention whatsoever to bombard or kill civilians".

More than 8,160 people have been killed and 46,300 injured in airstrikes and fighting in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition began its onslaught in 2015, according to United Nations figures.

"If there is no accountability, if groups that are fighting think they can use their political influence - and if they're powerful enough and rich enough, then they can get away with killing and injuring children, or bombing schools and hospitals - it sets a really unsafe precedent not just for Yemen but for conflicts around the world", Anning said. However, they "continue to be exposed to danger as the conflict has affected all of Yemen's mainland governorates", UNHCR said in its statement Tuesday.

"It is necessary to work closely to contain the cholera epidemic and prevent its outbreak in more Yemeni provinces and cities to avoid a possible humanitarian crisis whose consequences may last for years to come", said the AL chief in the statement.

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