03/16/2016, 10.03
YEMEN - SAUDI ARABIA
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Saudi raid hits Yemeni market: 41 civilians killed, 35 wounded

Raid targets Mustabaa town, in the northern province of Hajja, a stronghold of the Houthi rebels. Local sources said that the death toll "is going to increase." A site close to the rebels speak of 65 dead and 55 wounded, all civilians. The medical facilities of the neighboring area on brink of collapse. Over past year the Saudi coalition repeatedly targeted civilian sites.

 

Sanaa (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The death toll from an Saudi-led coalition air strike on a Yemen market town in the northern province of Hajja, considered a stronghold of the Houthi rebels, is of 41 dead so far. However, according to a local hospital source, under the responsibility of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the structure received the bodies of 41 people; in addition there are 35 others injured, some of them seriously.

A health official in the Yemeni province of Hajja confirms that there are numerous civilians among the victims, some of whom are children. He adds that the death toll "is likely to increase" in the coming hours.

Local sources and tribal leaders in the area explain that the planes of the Saudi coalition have hit the market town of Mustabaa several times and they must have known that civilians would be killed by their actions.

The sabanews.net web site, close to Houthi rebels, reports that the air strikes hit the market and a restaurant, causing 65 deaths and 55 wounded, all civilians. In the area medicines and health workers are scarce.

In over a year of war the Saudi coalition has frequently struck at civilian targets, causing deaths and injuries.

Recently, NGOs and international activists have accused the alliance of using cluster bombs supplied by the United States. An independent committee added that the coalition has made 119 raids in violation of international humanitarian law, hoping at the same time that an investigation will be held to punish those responsible.

Since January last year, the Gulf nation has been in the throes of a bloody internal conflict pitting the Sunni leadership, backed by Saudi Arabia, against Shiite Houthi rebels, close to Iran. In March, Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the rebels in an attempt to free the capital Sana'a and return the country to the president (who at first fled in exile and later returned) Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

For Saudi Arabia, the Houthis, allied to the forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, are supported militarily by Iran; a charge that Tehran rejects. Extremist groups linked to al Qaeda and jihadist militias linked to Islamic State are also active in the country, which has increased the spiral of violence and terror.

According to sources of the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 6,200 people have been killed in the war; for the United Nations Yemen is on the brink of a "humanitarian catastrophe".

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