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50 killed in attack on school bus in Yemen, Red Cross says

Amal Al-Yarisi, DPA on

Published in News & Features

SANAA, Yemen -- An airstrike that hit a school bus in war-ravaged Yemen killed 50 people and injured 77 others, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Thursday.

Thirty fatalities and 48 injured people, mostly children, were taken to a Red Cross-supported hospital, the humanitarian group added in a tweet, citing local officials.

The attack was an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's northern province of Saada, said Yemeni Houthi rebels, who are fighting the coalition.

Most of those killed were under 15 years old, said Youssef al-Hadri, a spokesman for the Houthi-controlled Health Ministry.

Residents said the bus had been carrying students heading to a summer school when the strike hit near Dahyan market in Saada, which is a rebel stronghold near the Saudi border.

The Saudi-led coalition confirmed it had carried out a strike, saying it targeted Iran-allied Houthi militants and was carried out "in accordance with international humanitarian law."

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Coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki described it as "a legitimate military action" to target militants who fired a missile on Saudi Arabia the day before, according to a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency.

"The coalition will take all measures against criminal and terrorist acts by the Iran-affiliated Houthi militia, such as recruitment of children and using them in the battlefield as tools and cover for their terrorist acts," al-Malki said.

The United Nations agency for children UNICEF condemned the attack.

"No excuses anymore," said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa. "Does the world really need more innocent children's lives to stop the cruel war on children in Yemen?"

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