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Families left to identify charred bodies after Saudi-led strike 'kills 29' at crowded Yemen market Open in fullscreen

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Families left to identify charred bodies after Saudi-led strike 'kills 29' at crowded Yemen market

The attack hit a crowded marketplace in the Saada governorate [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 November, 2017

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Residents at the scene picked through the remnants of stalls, some still smouldering, reduced to spindly metal frames and scattered wreckage.
A Saudi-led coalition airstrike killed 29 people at a crowded marketplace in the heartland of Houthi rebels in northern Yemen on Wednesday, Houthi health authorities said.

The coalition, which has faced repeated international criticism over civilian casualties, did not immediately confirm or deny that it was behind the attack in Saada governorate.

Residents at the scene picked through the remnants of stalls, some still smouldering, reduced to spindly metal frames and scattered wreckage, AFP photos showed.

The charred bodies of the victims, many of their faces disfigured beyond recognition, were laid on white body bags for families to identify in the courtyard of a hospital morgue.

The health service said 29 people were killed and 17 others wounded, while the Houthi-run Saba news agency gave a lower toll of 21 dead, all of them civilians.

Saba accused the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out the raid in the Sahar district.

The alliance did not respond to requests for comment on whether its forces carried out the strike.

But it enforces an air blockade on rebel-held territory and is the only force whose warplanes are known to operate in Yemen's north along the Saudi border.

The United Nations blacklisted the coalition in October for killing and maiming children, drawing fresh calls from rights groups to step up pressure on Riyadh over the conflict.

The coalition was briefly included on the annual list of shame last year before a threat by Saudi Arabia to cut off its funding to UN programmes forced a reversal.

Human rights groups have urged governments backing the coalition, including the United States, Britain and France, to suspend all weapons sales to the Gulf monarchy.

Read more on the crisis in Yemen here: 

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