Suspected Saudi-led coalition airstrike kills 23 Yemen civilians

Suspected Saudi-led coalition airstrike kills 23 Yemen civilians
A suspected raid by the Saudi-led coalition killed 23 civilians on Wednesday, including women and children, near Yemen's south-western city of Taiz, rebel-controlled media reported.

2 min read
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have caused a high civilian death toll [AFP]

At least 23 civilians were killed in a suspected Saudi-led coalition raid in Yemen on Wednesday, near the south-western city of Taiz, rebel-controlled media has reported.

Women and children were among those killed in the attack, which was confirmed as an alleged "mistake" by a military source.

Saba news agency, which is controlled by the Houthi rebels, said a vehicle carrying civilians in the town of Mawzaa, south-west of Taiz, was hit in the raid.

Six children were killed, said the agency, adding that six other people also died in the attack but their bodies were burned beyond recognition.

The military source said the air strike targeted an area held by the Houthi rebels, and also confirmed that a vehicle had been struck.

The passengers were heading back to Mawzaa after a shopping trip to the nearby town of Barah, which was recently hit with two airstrikes.

Several bodies had been torn to pieces in Wednesday's strike, the military source added.

There was no immediate reaction from the Saudi-led coalition, which has been battling the Houthis and backing the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Saudi-led coalition, which intervened on the side of the Hadi government two years ago, has come under repeated criticism over civilian casualties in Yemen.

Earlier this week, an alleged Saudi airstrike also in Taiz province killed a family of five, including three children, while a second strike hit an ambulance carrying the injured to hospital.

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 raid comes just days before US President Donald Trump is expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, in what is his first foreign trip since taking office in January.

Yemen's conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and wounded around 40,000, according to the UN's World Health Organisation.