In Brief

Dozens of children killed in Yemen airstrike

Saudi-led coalition strike destroyed a school bus near a crowded market

Dozens of children have been killed by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen that hit a school bus full of students on a school excursion, in the Houthi-controlled province of Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia.

The bus was destroyed near a crowded market, which was the first stop of the school excursion, killing 50 people and injuring 77 more, according to the Yemen health ministry.

CNN reports that “most of the children were inside the bus when the airstrike hit”, and that the bodies of 29 children “younger than 15” had been taken to a nearby hospital.

Saudi-led coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki confirmed that it had launched the attack, and that it had been targeting “missile launchers”, adding that the airstrike “conformed to international and humanitarian laws”.

However, Al Jazeera reports that there were “no Houthi fighters in the vicinity of the market where the attack took place”.

“The place is known to be a market, [and] there is no military installation nearby... but the Saudis are known to have done this many times - target schools, weddings and so on,” local journalist Nasser Arrabyee said.

The Washington Post says the attack is “the latest airstrike against civilians carried out by an American-backed regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates”.

Aid group Save the Children’s Yemen director of advocacy, Sylvia Ghaly, said the airstrike is “yet another example of the blatant violations of international humanitarian law that we have seen in Yemen over the past three years.”

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