‘Civilians killed’ in Saudi raids in Yemen’s Taiz

At least 20 people killed and dozens more wounded in raids on market in southwest Taiz province, sources say.

Man walks past a house destroyed during battles between Houthi fighters and pro-government fighters in the southwestern city of Taiz, Yemen
More than 10,000 Yemenis have died since Saudi Arabia intervened in the war [Anees Mahyoub/Reuters]

At least 20 people are reported to have been killed and dozens more wounded in a series of Saudi-led air raids on a market in southwestern Yemen.

Sources told Al Jazeera that Tuesday’s coalition raids struck Souk al-Shahra, a popular market in a Houthi rebels-held area of Taiz province, about 200km southwest of the capital, Sanaa.

At least 13 civilians were killed and another 17 injured, one source said, adding that at least 10 rebel fighters were also among the fatalities.

Another source said that body parts were thrown hundreds of metres from the blast sites.

Relatives of some of the victims were unable to identify their charred remains.

Al Masirah, a TV network run by the Houthi leadership, put the number of casualties at more than 50, adding they could still rise further.

It published photos on its website showing bombed-out motorcycles and shops, and the remains of what it claimed were dismembered civilians.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the claims.



The Saudi-led coalition has been conducting regular air raids in Houthi-held areas as part of a campaign to restore Yemen’s UN-recognised government.

Tuesday’s attacks come as Yemeni forces backed by the coalition are trying to capture the nearby village of al-Haima.

One resident told Al Jazeera that dozens of people had been displaced by the fighting, with scores of trapped residents living in dire conditions.

Torn apart by conflict

Yemen has been torn apart by conflict since 2014, when Houthi rebels, allied with troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, captured large expanses of the country, including Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia launched a massive aerial campaign against the rebels in March 2015, aimed at restoring the government of President  Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi .

Since then, Houthi rebels have been dislodged from most of the south, but remain in control of Sanaa and much of the north.

The kingdom intensified its embargo on Yemen last month after the rebels fired a ballistic missile towards Riyadh.

Attempting to cut off the alleged supply of weapons to the rebels from Iran, the blockade has had a devastating impact on millions, pushing more than eight million to within “a step of famine”.

The UN says that more than 60,000 people have been killed or wounded in the conflict, which also displaced more than three million people.

The country is also facing a deadly cholera outbreak, a direct consequence of the war, that has claimed about 2,000 lives and affected more than one million people since April.

Mohammed Al-Rumim contributed to this report.

Source: Al Jazeera