Yemen: At least 29 children killed in 'horrific' school bus attack

Yemen: At least 29 children killed in 'horrific' school bus attack

Yemen: At least 29 children killed in 'horrific' school bus attack

Maliki said those responsible for firing ballistic missiles and targeting civilians would "get what they deserve".

It was there, as the students sat waiting to resume their journey home on Thursday, that a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit their school bus.

The bus was struck as it was driving through a market in the rebel-held province of Saada, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV.

Col. Al-Maliki stressed: "The Coalition will take all necessary measures against the terrorist, criminal acts of the Iranian-Houthi militias, such as recruiting child soldiers, pushing them into battlefields and using them as shields for their terrorist acts".

The coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in Yemen's war in 2015 to unseat the Houthis and restore the internationally recognised government in exile.

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said that a hospital it supports in Saada had received 29 dead bodies of "mainly children" under 15 years of age, and 40 injured, including 30 children.

The coalition said it had carried out a "legitimate military action", targeting a bus in response for a deadly missile attack on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday by Houthi rebels.

At least 43 people were killed and 63 injured in the strike, according to the Houthi-held health ministry.

"Central Command was not involved in the air strike in Saada".

Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

The ICRC stressed that "under worldwide humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict", while the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland called it a "grotesque, shameful" attack that showed "blatant disregard for rules of war".

Fragments from a missile launched at the Jizan Industrial City in southern Saudi Arabia late on Wednesday, killed one Yemeni civilian and wounded 11, Saudi state media said earlier on Thursday.

Yemeni tribal leaders told the AP the Saudi-led USA -backed coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels was behind the airstrike.

A State Department spokeswoman expressed concern over the airstrike, and called for the Saudi-led coalition to investigate.

Thursday's attack marks a grim milestone in a war that lately has seen yet another escalation, as coalition-backed Yemeni government forces have made a recent push to reclaim the key port city of Hodeidah from rebels.

The war in the Arab world's poorest country has left almost 10,000 people dead and triggered what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Global rights groups repeated calls for an end to the war and strongly condemned the bus attack and other civilian massacres.

"It is beyond cruel; innocent children's lives have been lost". "Parties to the conflict and those who have influence over them, including Security Council members, can and should choose to end this catastrophe for the sake of Yemen's children".

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