Red Cross: Death toll rises to 50 in Yemen bus attack

Red Cross: Death toll rises to 50 in Yemen bus attack

The attack has been blamed on the Saudi-led coalition waging war against Yemen's Houthi rebels.

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 rebel-run Al Masirah TV gave a different casualty toll, saying the attack killed 39 people and wounded 51, mainly children.

"The Coalition will take all necessary measures against the terrorist, criminal acts of the terrorist Iranian-Houthi militia, such as recruiting child soldiers, throwing them in battlefields and using them as tools and covers to their terrorist acts", coalition spokesperson Col.

The assault was the latest in a string of airstrikes to target civilians by an American-backed regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Houthi media aired gruesome footage appearing to show the bodies of children in school uniform.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a hospital it supported in Saada had received dozens of casualties after the attack.

Nearly 10,000 people - two-thirds of them civilians - have been killed since the Houthi movement took control of much of the north of the country, including the capital Sanaa, in 2014, forcing President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi into exile in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Global aid groups were quick to condemn the air strike.

The United States and other Western powers provide arms and intelligence to the alliance, and human rights groups have criticized them over coalition air strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

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The Saudi-led coalition is fighting to defeat Houthi rebels who expelled the Yemeni government from the capital and took control of vast swathes of the country.

The ICRC said in its tweet: "Under worldwide humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict".

Saudi Arabia shot down a missile fired by the Huthis on Wednesday, with debris killing a Yemeni man and wounding 11 others, the coalition said.

Col. Al-Maliki stressed: "The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition will take all deterrent measures against such barbaric, frivolous launches in conformity with the global humanitarian law, and those who support these terrorist crimes will be held accountable for their actions".

The Iran-aligned Houthis regularly fire into Saudi Arabia and have targeted its capital, Riyadh, with ballistic missiles.

On August 2, attacks on a hospital and a fish market in the strategic rebel-held port city of Hodeida killed at least 55 civilians and wounded 170, according to the ICRC.

Wednesday's attack brings the tally to 165 rebel missiles launched since 2015, according to the coalition, which that year joined the Yemeni government's fight against Huthi rebels.

"It is beyond cruel; innocent children's lives have been lost".

Impoverished Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is now in the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance. "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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