The Saudi-UAE military alliance at war with Yemen’s Houthi rebels has been blamed for an attack on a school bus that killed dozens of people, including children attending Holy Quran classes.
Ghani Nayeb, the head of a health department in the northern province of Saada where the air strikes took place, said the death toll stood at 43 with 61 wounded.
Johannes Bruwer, the head of a delegation for the International Committee of the Red Crescent (ICRC) in Yemen, said in a Twitter post: “Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of 10”.
According to multiple sources, the attack took place early yesterday outside a busy market in Dahyan city in the Houthi controlled province of Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia.
Al Masirah, a pro-Houthi rebel TV network, said the bus was carrying a group of students attending summer classes learning the Holy Quran, was targeted. Al Jazeera could not independently verify the reports.
The network posted several videos on Twitter showing the aftermath of attack, including one with several dead children, and another of blood pouring from the heads of three child survivors.
The Saudi-UAE alliance later issued a statement to the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network saying it launched the strikes on Saada, but said it targeted “missile launchers”.
“[The air strikes] conformed to international and humanitarian laws,” a statement quoting coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said.
However, Nasser Arrabyee, a Yemeni journalist based in the capital Sanaa, said there were no Houthi fighters in the vicinity of the market were the strike took place. — AP