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At least 20 dead after airstrike hits bus carrying children in Yemen

At least 20 dead after airstrike hits bus carrying children in Yemen

Houthi militants responsible for firing ballistic missiles and targeting civilians "will be held accountable", said the Saudi statement.

The coalition said the projectile, fired toward the southwestern Saudi city of Jizan, was intercepted and destroyed.

The Western-backed alliance fighting the Iranian-aligned Houthi group in Yemen accused the Houthis of using children as human shields.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been leading a military campaign in support of the internationally recognised government in Yemen and against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Footage from the Houthi media office showed a boy wearing a blue backpack with a UNICEF logo being carried into a hospital emergency room with blood pouring down his face and over his traditional Yemeni thawb, an ankle-length garment.

Most of the children were inside the bus when the airstrike hit, according to a local medic, Yahya al-Hadi.

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"Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of 10", Johannes Bruwer, head of the delegation for the ICRC in Yemen, said earlier in a Twitter post.

The ballistic missile was sacked from the northern Yemeni province of Amran towards the southern Saudi city of Jizan, said a coalition statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

At least 43 people were killed and another 63 were injured on Thursday when a market in Yemen was attacked, The Associated Press reported citing Yemen's rebel-run Health Ministry.

On Wednesday night, Col. Al-Maliki stated that at (20:34) the Coalition Air Defense detected a ballistic missile launch from Northern Amran in Yemen, aimed at Saudi Arabia.

The Save the Children charity, quoting its staff, said that at the time of the attack the children were on a bus heading back to school "from a picnic when the driver stopped to get a drink".

The missile was sacked from the rebel-held Yemeni province of Amran towards the Saudi city of Jizan, the coalition said.

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"Today's attack in Saada was a legitimate military operation. and was carried out in accordance with global humanitarian law", the coalition said in the Arabic-language statement carried by SPA.

The Saudi coalition has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015.

According to Al Jazeera, the Saudi coalition claimed it had targeted "missile launchers", but Yemen-based reporters who have witnessed numerous attacks in civilian-populated areas vigorously disputed the claim.

The International Committee of the Red Cross tweeted that an ICRC-supported hospital received many dead and wounded after the strike on a market in Dahyan, Saada.

"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 US, the United Kingdom and other Western powers have been providing arms and intelligence to the alliance in the course of the war, which has unleashed the world's worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, according to the UN. "Only a political solution can bring the war to an end and reinstate peace in Yemen".

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