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The New Arab

Saudi-led coalition air raid kills at least 7 in north Yemen

Four children were among the dead [File Photo: AFP]

Date of publication: 4 October, 2017

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An airstrike killed at least seven people, including four children, on Wednesday in a rebel-held district of northern Yemen.

At least seven people were killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a Houthi-held district of northern Yemen on Wednesday, according to the rebels and a medical source.

Four children were among the dead in the air raid on Baqem district in the northern province of Saada.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a medical source in Baqem said seven people - four children, two women and a man - had been killed in the raid on Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia.

However, the Houthi-run news site Saba News reported 12 dead.

The rebels' al-Masirah television blamed the attack on a Saudi-led coalition which is fighting alongside Yemen's government in a war that has claimed thousands of lives.

More than 10,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since the Arab coalition joined the war in 2015 to bolster the government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in its fight against the rebels.

The conflict has pushed 17 million people to the brink of famine.

Yemen is also facing port and airport blockades and a cholera outbreak that the International Committee of the Red Cross estimates has killed more than 2,100 people since April.

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council agreed to send war crimes investigators to Yemen, overcoming strong resistance from Saudi Arabia.

In June, more than 24 civilians were killed in an airstrike on Saada's Mashnaq market, a centre for trafficking in qat - a leafy stimulant plant that is widely used in Yemen but illegal in Saudi Arabia.

'Maiming children'

The latest airstrikes come as reports confirmed the UN had listed the Saudi-led coalition in a report on violations against children.

The leaked blacklist reportedly named the coalition for killing and maiming children in Yemen, noting that it has put in place measures to improve child protection.

"In Yemen, the coalition's actions objectively led to the listing for the killing and maiming of children, with 683 child casualties attributed to this party, and, as a result of being responsible for 38 verified incidents, for attacks on schools and hospitals during 2016," the draft explanation of the blacklist said.

"The coalition is included in section B of Annex I, as it has put in place measures during the reporting period aimed at improving the protection of children," it added.

The UN's 2016 report into violations against children named Saudi Arabia on the blacklist, only to be removed a few days later following pressure from Riyadh.

The report said that the Saudi-led alliance was accountable for 60 percent of child deaths and injuries in Yemen in 2015 – a claim that Riyadh described as "wildly exaggerated”.

The UN has called Yemen "the largest humanitarian crisis in the world".



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