45 Dead in Saudi-Led Raids on Yemen

45 Dead in Saudi-Led Raids on Yemen45 Dead in Saudi-Led Raids on Yemen

Saudi-led airstrikes on the Yemeni capital killed at least 45 people on Sunday, 20 of whom were civilians, a medic said.

“At least 20 civilians and 25 soldiers and officers were killed” in four raids that hit the Tahrir residential neighborhood in central Sanaa, the medic said.

The raids hit residential buildings, including five houses that were completely destroyed, witnesses said, AFP reported.

The raids in Sanaa came a day after the UN confirmed June 14 as the starting date for peace talks between warring Yemen factions in Geneva, which both the country’s Houthi forces and its exiled government said they will attend. The local Saba news agency said 44 people were killed and more than 100 wounded “including women and children.” Seven Sunday air raids also targeted east of the capital, according to witnesses. Other raids hit an arms depot at Nahdain, south of Sanaa. Several positions in the north, mainly in the Houthi stronghold Saada Province and the provinces of Hajja and Amran, were heavily bombarded overnight by the coalition, witnesses said.

In the south, coalition jets targeted northern and western outskirts of second city Aden in support of southern fighters backing fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Houthis took control of the capital in September and advanced on the southern city of Aden, forcing Hadi to flee into exile in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition has carried out airstrikes on Yemen since March 26 in a bid to restore Hadi to power.

More than 2,000 people have died since the Saudi-led air campaign began.

The UN urged Yemeni parties to engage in talks in Geneva without preconditions. The meeting would be the first significant effort to stop the fighting, which has led to what the UN says is a catastrophic humanitarian situation.