Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Yemen: Dozens of children killed in airstrike

Yemen: Dozens of children killed in airstrike

The province lies along the border with Saudi Arabia. "The school bus was totally burned and destroyed".

And then Thursday that bus full of children, victims too young to understand why their country is at war. It was also unclear if there were other airstrikes in the area.

"The Coalition is targeting the militants responsible for planning and targeting civilians which resulted in killing of one and injuring 11 in Jazan", it said.

Coalition spokesman Maliki confirmed the strike had hit a bus, telling AFP "the elements inside the bus were Huthi combatants".

The Saudi government issued a statement on August 9 and described the strike as "a legitimate military action" and was "conducted in conformity with the global humanitarian law".

Col. Al-Maliki stressed: "The Coalition will take all necessary measures against the terrorist, criminal acts of the Iranian-Houthi militias, such as recruiting child soldiers, pushing them into battlefields and using them as shields for their terrorist acts". Despite killing dozens of schoolchildren, the spokesman called Thursday's attack on the school bus a "legitimate military action" and said it is "in accordance with global humanitarian law and customs".

The U.S. said it was not involved in Thursday's assault.

"We call on the Saudi-led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident", said Nauert.

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Col Al Maliki said the coalition was not intentionally targeting civilians, saying the forces used "a high standard measure for targeting, ... civilian casualties are a loss to the coalition and we can not accept high civilian casualties in Yemen".

Later, air strikes were reported in the rebel-held Yemeni capital, Sanaa. It wasn't immediately clear how numerous casualties were on the bus and how many were pedestrians in the immediate area around it.

Yemen's stalemated, three-year war has killed over 10,000 people, badly damaged Yemen's infrastructure and crippled its health system. That assistance has come under sharp criticism from Congress and the worldwide community as civilian deaths have continued to multiply, even as the coalition promises not to target civilians.

The Yemen war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and driven the country to the verge of starvation, according to the United Nations. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis in response to the coalition allegations.

The Houthis have launched a series of missile strikes on the kingdom, including the capital, Riyadh, over the past year.

The coalition has insisted it never deliberately targets civilians but human rights groups have accused it of bombing markets, schools, hospitals and residential areas.

The United Nations has called for all parties involved in the conflict in Yemen to engage in peace talks.

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