Yemen: Dozens of children slaughtered in Saudi-led forces airstrike on school bus

  • A hospital supported by our team in Yemen received the bodies of 29 children under the age of 15 and 48 wounded, including 30 children, the ICRC said in a post on Twitter
  • "Today’s attack in Saada was a legitimate military operation," said coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki in the statement
World

SANAA – Fifty people died in a school bus attack in Yemen and 77 were injured, most of whom were children, the International Committee of the Red Cross stated, citing officials. The Saudi-led coalition has called the attack “legitimate.”

The bus was in the Dahyan Market in northern Sa’ada, a Houthi rebel stronghold, when it was attacked on Thursday morning. “Following an attack… [an International Committee of the Red Cross-supported] hospital has received dozens of dead and wounded,” the Red Cross confirmed, adding that “under the international humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during the conflict.”

Earlier, “a hospital supported by our team in Yemen received the bodies of 29 children under the age of 15 and 48 wounded, including 30 children,” the ICRC said in a post on Twitter.

Johannes Bruwer, the head of an ICRC delegation in Yemen, said in a Twitter post: “Scores killed, even more, injured, most under the age of 10”.

According to multiple sources, the attack took place early on Thursday outside a busy market in Dahyan city.

Al Masirah, a pro-Houthi rebel TV network, said the bus, which was carrying a group of students attending summer classes learning the Holy Quran, was targeted.

In a statement released by state news agency SPA, the Saudi-led coalition claimed its airstrikes in Saada were aimed at missile launchers used to attack Jiza, a city in southern Saudi Arabia.

“Today’s attack in Saada was a legitimate military operation… it conformed to international and humanitarian laws,” said coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki in the statement. The statement also accused the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels of using children as human shields.

Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Muslim allies have been fighting in Yemen for more than three years against the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels. The rebels control a significant portion of northern Yemen, including the country’s capital Sana’a, which was also targeted by airstrikes later on Thursday.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in the conflict in Yemen in 2015, in an attempt to restore the internationally recognised government to power after it was driven out by Houthi rebels in the capital.

The conflict in Yemen has created the largest food security emergency in the world and led to a cholera outbreak that has affected nearly 1 million people since April. Since the war began in 2015, almost 10,000 people have been killed in what the United Nations has labelled as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.