Saudi Airstrike Kills 22 Civilians in Yemen

People search for victims under the rubble of houses destroyed by a Saudi airstrike on Yemen. (File Photo)People search for victims under the rubble of houses destroyed by a Saudi airstrike on Yemen. (File Photo)

At least 22 civilians were killed on Friday and dozens wounded when a Saudi airstrike hit a market in western Yemen causing a fire to break out, a local official said.

Missiles launched by fighter jets of the Arab alliance hit a market near the Red Sea fishing town of Khoukha.

“Rescue workers on Friday night were battling a blaze in the market caused by the attack and pulling bodies out of the rubble some of which were burnt beyond recognition,” Hashim Azazi, deputy governor of Hodeidah Province, was quoted as saying by Channel News Asia.

“All of those killed were civilians˜ none were holding weapons.”

A coalition spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

Khoukha and the nearby city of Hodeidah are controlled by Houthis.

Saudi-backed forces recaptured control of the southern Red Sea city of al-Mokha last month in a push that paved the way for an advance on Hodeidah, the country’s main port city.

The fighting on Yemen’s west coast has displaced nearly 50,000 people in the last six weeks among them children suffering from malnutrition forced to live in schools and in tents on streets, a United Nations refugee agency spokesman told a news briefing in Geneva on Friday.

The blocking of main roads by warring parties is hampering humanitarian access to those in need.

Friday’s attacks were the latest in a series of coalition-led strikes that have hit schools, hospitals, markets and private homes. In December, the coalition acknowledged that it had made “limited use” of British-made cluster bombs, but said it had stopped using them.

Nearly half of Yemen’s 22 provinces are on the verge of famine, according to the UN World Food Program.


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