Coalition announces Yemen air raid probe, Houthis report 40 children killed

Yemen is in the grip of a brutal civil war

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a military campaign to restore the internationally recognised government to power and push back the Houthis, who still hold the capital Sana'a.

It accused the Houthis of using children as human shields and said the strikes were carried out in accordance with global humanitarian law.

He said: "No there were not children on the bus".

The UN released a statement condemning the attack.

Henrietta Fore, executive director of the UN Children's Fund Unicef, said the "horrific" attack marked "a low point in (Yemen's) brutal war".

The World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Yemen, Nevio Zagaria, said it has deployed emergency supplies. "The attack on civilians is not acceptable".

United States and other Western powers provide arms and intelligence to the alliance, and human rights groups have criticised them over coalition air strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

What is Saudi Arabia's role in the Yemen war?

The United Nations and Washington both called for prompt investigations into the airstrike that obliterated a bus at the Dahyan market in the Huthi rebels' stronghold province of Saada.

Media captionThe conflict in Yemen has been raging for years - but what is it all about?

Asked if the White House and the State Department were offering differing views, the spokeswoman said: "We have the same position".

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Hussain al Bukhaiti joins TRT World from Sanaa, and explains why the civilian casualty count of the latest Saudi air strike was so high.

A spokesman for the Houthis said the coalition showed "clear disregard for civilian life" by targeting a crowded public place.

It was not immediately clear whether the bus was the target of the air strike, but coalition spokesman Col Turki al-Malki said the attack was "a legitimate military action, conducted in conformity with global humanitarian law".

They say the attack was carried out in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law.

A Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that the projectiles hit the designated targets with great precision.

Wednesday's attack brings the tally to 165 rebel missiles launched since 2015, according to the coalition, which that year joined the Yemeni government's fight against Huthi rebels.

Earlier on Thursday, fragments from a Houthi missile launched at Jizan Industrial City had killed one man and wounded 11, Saudi state media said on Thursday. The statement accused the Houthis of using children as human shields.

On Friday, the ICRC, citing authorities in Saada, said that 51 people were killed in the attack, including 40 children, while 79 people had been injured, including 56 children. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis in response to the coalition allegations.

Saada has come under strikes from the coalition as the mountainous province makes battles hard for pro-government ground troops.

The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, told the Security Council last week that "a political solution" to end the war in Yemen was "available" and that the warring sides would be invited to talks on September 6 in Geneva.

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