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'Possible error' caused Saudi-coalition bombing of civilians

Watch now: Dozens of civilians were killed and injured in the air raids [AFP]

Date of publication: 22 September, 2016

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Video: Saudi-coalition air raids on Yemen's port city of Hodeida killed at least 20 civilians on Wednesday evening, with Yemeni officials saying the attack was likely an 'error'.

At least 20 civilians were killed in Saudi-led coalition air raids on the rebel-controlled port city of Hodeida on Wednesday, in what was another possible "error", Yemeni government officials have said.

At least 12 of the dead and 30 wounded civilians were rushed to the al-Thawra hospital in the Red Sea port, Dr Khaled Suhail told The New Arab.

Women and children were among the dead, local sources told The New Arab, adding that coalition jets targeted the city's rebel-controlled presidential palace as well as nearby residential neighbourhoods.

Coalition airstrikes hit the Suq al-Hunod district of the Red Sea port, the anonymous official in the government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi told AFP

An anonymous government official said the residential areas were "probably hit in error."

Last week, a study found that more than a third of all airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen have hit civilian sites, including school buildings, hospitals, markets and mosques.

Based on open-source data, the survey recorded over 8,600 aerial attacks between the start of the Saudi coalition's campaign in March 2015 and August 2016. 

The data shows that 3,577 of these strikes hit military targets, while 3,158 struck non-military sites.

The study identified 1,882 "unknown" strikes, where the nature of the target could not be identified.

Also listed are 942 attacks on residential areas, 114 on markets, 34 on mosques, 147 on schools, 26 on universities and 378 on transport.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir responded to the reports stating the Houthis have "turned schools and hospitals and mosques into command and control centres. 

"They have turned them into weapons depots in a way that they are no longer civilian targets. They are military targets. They might have been a school a year ago. But they were not a school when they were bombed," he added.

According to the United Nations, more than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the start of the Saudi-led coalition's bombing campaign 18 months ago.

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