Saudi Arabia accused of new 'double-tap' airstrike killing family

Saudi Arabia accused of new 'double-tap' airstrike killing family
An alleged Saudi airstrike in Taiz province, central Yemen, has killed a family of five, including three children, while a second strike hit an ambulance carrying the injured to hospital.
2 min read
11 May, 2017
Civlians carry away victims and wounded by Saudi airstrike, Sunday 7 May [Photo Ahmad Algohbary]
An alleged Saudi-led Arab coalition "double tap strike" killed a family of five when a missile hit their home in Yemen's Taiz province last Sunday, sources have said.

The first air raid hit their house in the the residential al-Barah neighbourhood of Maqbanah, central Yemen, killing Bashir Abdullah Hassan, his wife, and three children, sources told The New Arab.

Six more people in the building were injured in the first blast, while local reports suggest a second strike hit an ambulance and paramedics at the scene, shortly after.

Muaaz Alqubati, at the Yemen Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations, who was in Taiz at the time, told The New Arab that the first strike could have hit the house in error.

"The target was supposed to be [a Houthi's] arms store. A second strike hit an ambulance, and the paramedic was harmed," he said.

The Saudi-led coalition have been condemned by human rights groups before for using "double tap" airstrikes. These attacks include second strikes on medical personnel and civilians providing first aid helping survivors of earlier attacks.

It is illegal to target medical personnel and their vehicles under international law.

Last October, a double-tap airstrike killed 140 mourners and injured 525 more, when missiles struck a funeral hall during a service for the late father of a Houthi minister.

The attack was condemned by the UN, the US and EU, but reports continue that the coalition still uses this deadly practice.

Reports suggest that a Houthis' weapon depot was the target of Sunday's strike. One former resident of the area now living in Canada said the rebels have used residential areas to store weapons before.

"The Houthis use villages and residential gatherings to hide their arms and gear," Abdulkader Alguneid, a former mayor told The New Arab

"When these gatherings are spotted they become a target, and civilians - whether collaborating or not - get caught in the middle."

It is not clear whether the building which was completely destroyed in the clash was used for storing weapons.

Social media posts called the strike a "mistake" and demanded that "whoever is in charge of [giving wrong targeting] information [should] be held accountable".

The conflict in Yemen has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015. The Saudi-led, US and UK-backed coalition is responsible for two thirds of the victims, according to the UN.