Heaviest Airstrikes Rock Sana’a

Heaviest Airstrikes Rock Sana’aHeaviest Airstrikes Rock Sana’a

Dozens of airstrikes hit the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Thursday, in what residents described as the heaviest aerial attacks yet in nine months of war, days after a Saudi-led coalition trying to restore a Saudi-backed government ended a fragile ceasefire.

The strikes pounded the presidential palace and a mountain military base to the south of the city, causing children and teachers in several schools to flee for their lives, Reuters reported.

“My classmate and I were at recess when a huge explosion hit the neighborhood. We ran to the side and she fell to the ground in fear,” said Maha, a 10th grader in a Sana’a school.

“Everybody was screaming and the administration got us together and called our parents to take us out. All the students were in a panic.” There were no immediate reports of casualties.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and its allies, which supports Yemen’s fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has been fighting the Houthi movement, which controls the capital.

The Houthis are waging a revolution against a corrupt government and Persian Gulf Arab powers beholden to the West.

Almost 6,000 people have died in the conflict, nearly half of them civilians. United Nations-backed peace talks have yet to produce any substantial progress.

Yemen’s pro-Hadi foreign ministry declared the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights persona non grata after what it said were unfair statements, a news agency run by the Hadi government,, reported.

“The work of the (UN) commission was a huge disappointment as it issued statements in line with the language of the rebels,” the agency said.

In Geneva, the UN human rights office said the move was “very regrettable”.

“We believe our office in Yemen has been doing an excellent job in very difficult conditions,” said UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, adding that UN officials would study the accusations made against the representative.