Yemen: Dozens of children killed in airstrike

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Dozens of people, many of them school children, have been killed or wounded in a Saudi-led coalition air strike in rebel-held northern Yemen, medics say.

He said additional supplies were being sent to hospitals to cope with the influx.

"Following an attack this morning on a bus driving children in Dahyan Market, northern Saada, (an ICRC-supported) hospital has received dozens of dead and wounded", the organization said on Twitter without giving more details.

"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.

The rebel-run Al Masirah TV gave a different casualty toll, saying the attack killed 39 people and wounded 51, mainly children.

An airstrike in the north reportedly killed at least 50, more than half of them children.

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The coalition said the projectile, fired toward the southwestern Saudi city of Jizan, was intercepted and destroyed.

Fragments from a missile launched at the Jizan Industrial City in southern Saudi Arabia late on Wednesday, killed one Yemeni civilian and wounded 11, Saudi state media said earlier on Thursday.

"The attack carried out today by the coalition in Saada was against those people responsible for the ballistic missile attack last night ... the allegation [that civilians were targeted] is coming by the Houthis, and it's still an allegation", Col Al Maliki said.

Coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki told AFP that claims by aid organisations that children were inside the bus were "misleading", adding that the bus carried "Huthi combatants".

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

It's not the first time the coalition has hit a residential area this month.

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In May, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on five Iranians linked with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who allegedly provided ballistic missile support to the Houthi rebels in Yemen which they then used to attack Saudi Arabia.

The United States and other Western powers provide arms and intelligence to the alliance, and human rights groups have criticized them over coalition air strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

Global aid groups were quick to condemn the air strike.

Al-Malki insisted Thursday's attack carried out in Saada is a "legitimate military action" and is "in accordance with global humanitarian law and customs". There was no immediate comment from the Houthis in response to the coalition allegations.

It is with the stated aim of dislodging the Houthis, and restoring the previous government, that the Sunni coalition has waged a years-long airstrike campaign in the country with the support of the U.S. Since large-scale fighting erupted in 2015, the ensuing violence has left more than 10,000 people killed and the country's health infrastructure so badly battered, almost 18 million Yemenis lack reliable access to food.

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