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Yemeni journalist's son among children killed in 'barbaric' Saudi-led bombing of Sanaa

Sanaa residents observe the damage of the airstrikes on Thursday [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 May, 2019

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The son of the leader of Yemen's journalist union was among several children killed as the Saudi coalition bombarded Sanaa with airstrikes in retaliation for a Houthi drone attack.
The son of the leader of Yemen's journalist syndicate was among five children reportedly killed on Thursday as Saudi coalition airstrikes pounded residential neighbourhoods in the capital Sanaa, according to the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate.

The Saudi-led coalition bombed swathes of neighbouring Yemen on Thursday in retaliation for a Houthi rebel drone attack on Saudi Arabia's main oil pipeline two days previously, which forced the kingdom to shut down the vital East-West Pipeline.

Abdullah Sabri, chief of the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate, and his family were among estimated 50 people wounded. Their home was reportedly destroyed.

An entire family was killed in the same wave of strikes.

The syndicate condemned the raids as "barbaric" for targeting civilian families in their own homes. In a statement on Thursday, they demanded an investigation into the incident, and called for the perpetrators could be punished.

The group stressed that the targeting of journalists and civilians was a violation of international law.

The Saudi-led coalition, which has been battling the Houthi rebels since March 2015, confirmed that its warplanes were carrying out multiple strikes across rebel-held territory in Yemen.

"We have begun to launch air strikes targeting sites operated by the Houthi militia, including in Sanaa," a coalition official, who declined to be identified, told AFP.

The coalition said it had hit "a number of legitimate military targets" that the rebels used to store munitions.

The rebels' Al-Masirah television said the coalition carried out at least 19 strikes, 11 of them in the capital.

A strike on one Sanaa neighbourhood killed six people and wounded 10, Dr Mokhtar Mohammed of the capital's Republic Hospital said.

Aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said that at least four people were killed and 48 injured in Sanaa in "several airstrikes" by the Saudi-led coalition.

The UN's humanitarian office OCHA later said five children had been killed and 16 more had been wounded in the strikes.

The rebels said their attack on the Saudi pipeline was a response to "crimes" committed by Riyadh during its bloody air war in Yemen, which has been criticised repeatedly by the United Nations and human rights groups for targeting civilians and children.

More than four years of conflict have triggered what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with over 24 million people, more than two-thirds of the population, in need of aid

Agencies contributed to this report.

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