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Schoolchildren killed as Saudi-led coalition airstrikes pound Sanaa

The Saudi-led coalition has previously been blacklisted for killing children [File Photo: Getty]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2019

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Seven children were among those killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike near a school in the capital, AP reported.
At least 13 people, including schoolchildren, were killed after Saudi-led coalition air raids struck a residential area in Yemen's capital on Sunday.

Seven children were among those killed, according to the AP, and more than 39 people were wounded in the attack that hit an area close to a school, Youssef al-Hadrii, a spokesman for the rebel-controlled health ministry said.

"Everyone was hysterical, some were crying and shouting in panic," said Fatehiya Kahlani, principal of Al-Raei school. "The situation was horrible as the school population is 2,100."

"Some girl students were killed and others were wounded and are in a hospital as a result of the missile strike. The school building was destroyed too."

"'We suddenly heard a fighter jet while we were at school. We then heard the first strike. We remained calm. Then came the second strike and then the third, which was the strongest of them all," said Ali Ahmed, a wounded student.

"The building was damaged and we were injured by broken glass. As the fourth airstrike came in, we panicked and ran home."

Footage shared online showed a large crowd of screaming students at the school watching in horror as plumes of smoke filled the air.

The coalition, which is fighting Houthi rebels alongside government forces, said its jets had struck a military camp in the Sanaa suburb of Sawan, although it failed to provide casualty figures.

The Saudi-led coalition - with the logistical and political backing of the US - have unleashed a brutal air campaign on rebel-held areas since March 2015.

More than 13,000 people have been killed in the war between forces loyal to the Yemeni government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, and Huthi rebels, according to UN figures. However, rights groups believe the death toll is five times higher.

While all sides in the war stand accused of failing to protect civilians, the Saudi-led coalition has drawn particularly harsh condemnation from international rights groups over civilian deaths.

It was added to a UN blacklist in 2017 for the killing and maiming of children.

The Saudi-led coalition has regularly targeted schools, hospitals, wedding parties and even funerals, prompting international uproar - though little has been done to hold it to account.

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