Airstrikes Kill Dozens Including Children in Yemen

One dead, several wounded after Saudi Arabia 'intercepts Yemen missile'

The Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen's Houthi rebels announced on Friday an investigation into an airstrike on a bus that killed at least 29 children, as pressure mounted on the USA -backed military coalition over the deadly strike.

Yemenis dig graves for children who where killed when their bus was hit during a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted the Dahyan market the previous day in the Houthi rebel stronghold province of Saada, Aug. 10, 2018. "They've been receiving wounded and dead since the morning and it is non-stop", ICRC head of communications and spokesperson Mirella Hodeib told CNN. It also received 48 wounded people, including 30 children, it said. It was also unclear if there were other airstrikes in the area. The coalition said Wednesday's projectile, fired toward the southwestern Saudi city of Jizan, was intercepted and destroyed but its fragments caused the casualties.

"Today's attack in Saada was a legitimate military operation ... and was carried out in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law", the coalition said in the Arabic-language statement carried by SPA.

He accused the rebels of using children as "tools and covers for their terrorist acts".

At least 29 children under the age of 15 were killed in the attack, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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Most of those onboard the bus were reportedly children on a school trip.

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

Col Al Maliki said the coalition was not intentionally targeting civilians, saying the forces used "a high standard measure for targeting, ... civilian casualties are a loss to the coalition and we can not accept high civilian casualties in Yemen".

Later, air strikes were reported in the rebel-held Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

It sent additional supplies to the hospital to cope with the influx of patients.

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In another video, which appears to show the immediate aftermath of the strike, several lifeless bodies of children lay under a blown-up bus.

UNICEF issued a statement condemning the attack, saying there could be "no excuses anymore", and that the world shouldn't need yet "more innocent children's lives to stop the cruel war on children in Yemen".

On August 2, attacks on a hospital and a fish market in the strategic rebel-held port city of Hodeida killed at least 55 civilians and wounded 170, according to the ICRC. The coalition denied that it had carried out air strikes in the area, and blamed the deaths on rebel mortar fire.

Impoverished Yemen has been embroiled in the war pitting the Saudi-led coalition against the Iran-aligned Houthis since March 2015. They say their missile attacks on the kingdom are in retaliation for air raids on Yemen by the Western-backed coalition.

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. He recently announced plans to invite Yemen's warring parties to Geneva on September 6 to hold the first round of consultations.

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