Saudi Arabia denies responsibility for Yemen market massacre

Saudi Arabia denies responsibility for Yemen market massacre
Saudi Arabia has denied being responsible for one of the biggest killings of civilians in Yemen in years, when bombs struck a busy market in Hodeida.
2 min read
04 August, 2018
Hodeida has been battered by air raids [Getty]
Saudi Arabia has denied it was responsible for a deadly bombing of a packed market in a Yemeni port on Thursday, which left at least 55 dead and others badly injured.

Bombs struck the packed market in the besieged rebel-held city of Hodeida on Thursday, killing dozens and injuring more than 170, the Red Cross said.

The agency said that civilian areas of the Houthi-run city appear to have been deliberately targeted in this "reprehensible" attack. 

"The scenes coming from Hodeida are horrific," the Red Cross said in a statement, according to The New York Times

"The disregard of international humanitarian law in Yemen cannot be tolerated."

Although the Red Cross did not attribute blame to any one party, Saudi Arabia is widely suspected of being behind the massacre.

Riyadh entered the war in March 2015 to help the Yemeni government in its fight against Houthi rebels which captured the capital Sanaa the previous September.

Since then, Saudi planes have launched hundreds of air strikes in Yemen, which are believed to have killed thousands of civilians.
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Saudi Arabia and the UAE have also intensified a blockade on the rebel-held port of Hodeida and have launched an offensive on the city.

Witnesses said they saw war planes fire missiles moments before the explosions on the ground.

Despite this, Riyadh claimed on Friday to have carried out no strikes in the area, the closest being one mile away.

Instead, Saudi-led Yemen coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Maliki blamed the Houthis for the killings.

"The Houthi militia are behind the killing of civilians in Hodeida on Thursday," he told a Saudi broadcaster according to The New York Times.

Yemen's war has killed at least 13,000 people, the vast majority civilians. 

Air strikes have also destroyed much of Yemen's already basic infrastructure, leading to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN.