Backed Coalition Bombs School Bus, Killing Dozens of Yemeni Kids


The United States called Thursday for a "thorough" investigation following the deaths of 29 children in northern Yemen in a strike on a bus carried out by the Saudi-led coalition.

The coalition says it carried out a "legitimate military action", targeting a bus in response to a deadly missile attack on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday by Huthi rebels.

He said additional supplies were being sent to hospitals to cope with the influx.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Twitter that its team at an ICRC supported hospital in Saada received the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old.

"Today's attack in Saada was a legitimate military operation. and was carried out in accordance with global humanitarian law", the Arabic-language coalition statement said, quoting spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki.

UNICEF Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere also responded to Thursday's strike, asking, "Does the world really need more innocent children's lives to stop the cruel war on children in Yemen?"

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The coalition's spokesperson said the operation sought to target the militants responsible for a missile intercepted over Saudi civilian territory on Wednesday.

Colonel Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said the missile strike was aimed at a "legitimate target".

Fragments from the Houthi missile launched at Jizan Industrial City killed one Yemeni civilian and wounded 11, Saudi state media said earlier on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies in the Arab Coalition intervened in the Yemen conflict at the request of Mr Hadi's government.

It's not the first time the coalition has hit a residential area this month.

Turki al-Malki said the attack was "a legitimate military action, conducted in conformity with global humanitarian law". Houthi backed television stations broadcast footage of young children receiving treatment in local hospitals.

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A TV station run by the rebel Houthi movement reports that it was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike.

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

Global rights groups repeated calls for an end to the war and strongly condemned the bus attack and other civilian massacres.

The Iran-aligned Houthis regularly fire into Saudi Arabia and have targeted its capital, Riyadh, with ballistic missiles. But the coalition denied carrying out any attacks in the city, saying it follows a "strict and transparent approach based on the rules global law".

More than 10,000 people have been killed in three years of war, according to the United Nations. We urge all parties to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities, return to the negotiation table to commit to a ceasefire and cooperate with the U.N. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.

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