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Yemen in shock after Saudi-led strike on bus kills 29 children

The remains of victims and children’s clothing were strewn across a market in northern Yemen on Friday, as the US and UN called for an investigation into an air strike the previous day by a Saudi-led coalition that killed 29 children on a bus.

Thursday’s strike on a bus filled with children at the Dahyan market in the Huthi rebel stronghold of Saada injured at least 48 others, including 30 children, according to the International Committee for the Red Cross.

An AFP photographer at the scene said the bus carrying the children had been turned into a mass of twisted metal, and that the remains of victims and their personal items were scattered across the ground.

“There are remains everywhere, we are still trying to confirm identities,” Yahya Shayem, a health official in Saada, told AFP.

He could not confirm when funerals for the victims would take place.

The coalition that has been fighting Yemen’s rebels since 2015 acknowledged responsibility for the strike, but claimed the bus was carrying “Huthi combatants”.

It said the coalition had carried out a “legitimate military action”, targeting a bus in response to a deadly missile attack on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday by Huthi rebels.

Thursday’s heavy toll sparked calls from both United Nations chief and the US State Department for the strike to be investigated.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an “independent and prompt” probe, while State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington was “calling the Saudi led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident”.

“We call on the parties to take appropriate measures to protect civilians,” Nauert said.

A Yemeni man mourns over the graves of his two children, who where killed when their bus was hit during a Saudi-led coalition air strike, that targeted the Dahyan market the previous day in the Huthi rebels’ stronghold province of Saada on August 10, 2018.
An attack on a bus at a market in rebel-held northern Yemen killed at least 29 children on August 9, the Red Cross said, as the Saudi-led coalition faced a growing outcry over the strike. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

AFP

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