Saudi coalition attacks on Saada market kill dozens

At least 25 killed after two air raids hit al-Mashnaq market in Shada district in northwestern Yemen, an official says.

    At least 25 Yemeni civilians have been killed by Saudi-led coalition's aerial bombardment of a market in the northern Saada province, according to a local health official.

    The director of the Houthi-run health department office in Saada said the aircraft conducted two raids on al-Mashnaq market in Shada district close to the Saudi border on Saturday.

    "Rescue teams were unable to reach the area for some time for fear of being hit by artillery shelling of the area," the official, Dr Abdelilah al-Azzi, told Reuters news agency by telephone on Sunday.

    Several Yemeni online news outlets carried similar reports of the bombing in Saada, which sits directly along the Saudi border.

    Officials from the Saudi-led coalition could not immediately be reached for a comment on the report.

    A Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out air raids in the impoverished country for more than two years against Houthi rebels, who control vast swaths of the country.

    The country has since been plunged into a civil war in which the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, is trying to roll back gains made by the Iran-aligned Houthi group that controls most of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.

    In March, a Saudi-led coalition air raid killed 22 people and wounded dozens when it struck a market in western Yemen near the Red Sea fishing town of Khoukha.

     

    Khoukha and the nearby city of Hodeidah are controlled by the Houthis who took control of Sanaa in 2014 and moved south to Aden in 2015 forcing Hadi and his administration to flee into exile. Saudi-led coalition wrested back the control of Aden last year.

    The Yemen war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than three million and ruined much of the impoverished country's infrastructure.

    READ MORE: Who benefits from a weak and divided Yemen?

    The Saudi-led coalition was formed in 2015 to fight the Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    In December, the coalition acknowledged it had made "limited use" of British-made cluster bombs, but said it had stopped using them.

    In March, the UN World Food Programme said that nearly half of Yemen's 22 provinces were on the verge of famine.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency


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