Saudi-led airstrike kills 29 children on school trip in Yemen
- Ashley Reed
The bus was travelling through Dahyan market in Saada province at the time. This action is in conformity with the humanitarian law, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Col.
Last week, the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes struck the gate of al-Thawra hospital and adjacent fish market in Yemen's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, killing 52 civilians and wounding 102 others.
A US State Department spokeswoman said the United States was concerned about reports of the air strikes and urged the Saudi-led coalition to investigate.
The children were reportedly on a field trip, when their bus was hit by an airstrike.
Saada is a stronghold of Huthi rebels, whom the Saudi-led coalition are fighting in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's forces.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said "civilians continue to pay the highest price after three years of war in Yemen, thousands of them have been killed, injured or maimed".
A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, which is fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, said it was targeting rebel missile launchers.
The bus was hit as it was driving through a market in the rebel-held province of Saada, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV.
The coalition's spokesperson said the operation sought to target the militants responsible for a missile intercepted over Saudi civilian territory on Wednesday.
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Turki al-Malki was defiant about the attack on the busload of children, saying it was retaliation for a missile strike from the rebel Houthis. He also accused Houthis of using kids as "tools and covers for their terrorist acts".
There was no immediate comment from the coalition, which intervened in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government to power after it was driven out of the capital Sanaa by the rebels.
The Saudi government issued a statement on August 9 and described the strike as "a legitimate military action" and was "conducted in conformity with the global humanitarian law".
He added: "Launching ballistic missiles at densely-populated civilian areas is a direct breach of the principles of global humanitarian law".
He continued: "The interception resulted in projection of fragments throughout some residential areas, which caused the martyrdom of a Yemeni resident, and injuries to 11 civilians".
The coalition denied responsibility for those attacks.
The war in the Arab world's poorest country has left almost 10,000 people dead and triggered what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
"It's hard to believe we live in a world where children should live in fear of such attacks, yet here we are", she added.
The U.N. special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has been pushing to bring the warring parties to restart peace talks.