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Coalition raid kills six Yemeni civilians 'by mistake'

Pro-Hadi forces managed to drive the Houthis out of Lahj last year [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 May, 2016

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Warplanes targeted the home of a suspected member of the Islamic State group in Huta, the capital of southern Lahj province, but missed and hit an adjacent house.
An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition fighting opponents of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi killed six civilians from the same family by mistake on Wednesday, a provincial official said.

Warplanes targeted the home of a suspected member of the Islamic State (IS) group in Huta, the capital of southern Lahj province, but missed and hit an adjacent house.

The Arab coalition carried out raids Wednesday on several positions in Huta suspected of being used by extremists, including an abandoned water bottling plant and an arms depot, an official said.

Coalition airstrikes in Yemen dropped significantly after a UN-brokered ceasefire was agreed in April by the government and the Houthi rebels who control the capital, paving the way for talks in Kuwait.

While most of the raids have targeted the Houthis, in recent weeks the coalition has also used its fire power to support pro-government forces fighting extremists.

Al-Qaeda and rival Islamic State group have sought to exploit the power vacuum caused by the war between the Houthis and the government to strengthen their presence in the south and southeast.

Pro-Hadi forces supported by the coalition managed last year to drive the Houthis out of Lahj and four other southern provinces.

Huta has since been the scene of frequent clashes between extremists and government forces struggling to tighten their grip on the city.

Loyalists recently ejected al-Qaeda from parts of the main southern city of Aden, as well as Huta and Mukalla in the southeastern province of Hadramawt.

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