6 women die as airstrikes escalate overnight in Yemen: officials

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/8/18 20:18:45

A Saudi-led military coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels conducted 95 airstrikes throughout Yemen in the last 24 hours, killing at least six women in two cities, officials and residents said Thursday.

Residents from a district in the province of Taiz said coalition warplanes, fighting to restore the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, bombed a bridge in the district of Alsolu overnight as well.

Health officials in Taiz confirmed that three women died in the airstrike.

Also on Thursday, residents from the northern border province of Saada reported 20 airstrikes against the provincial capital city bearing the same name.

Residents said one of the airstrikes hit a family home near a gas station in Saada, killing three women and critically wounding eight others, mainly young children.

Health officials in Sanaa confirmed the toll.

The Saudi-led coalition fight in support of the exiled government of President Hadi against dominant Houthi rebels, who are backed by forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Houthi-controlled official Saba news agency put the number of airstrikes throughout Yemen's northern cities, including the capital Sanaa, in the past 24 hours at 95.

It said the airstrikes caused substantial residential and public property damage.

The escalating aerial bombing comes just three days after a bombing of a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders killed at least 20 patients in the northern province of Hajja.

The coalition escalated its bombing campaign since United Nations-sponsored peace talks between Yemeni rival parties in Kuwait collapsed more than a week ago.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the airstrike against the hospital in a statement issued by his office on Wednesday, saying civilians including children are paying the heaviest price in the ongoing conflict in Yemen as schools and hospitals continue to be targeted.

Ban renewed his call to all parties involved in the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and return to direct talks.

Yemen has been gripped by a civil war since Houthis and former President Saleh's forces seized power and drove the government of Hadi into exile in late 2014.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in March 2015. Allied airstrikes and fighting on the ground in Yemen have since killed over 6,400 people, mostly civilians.

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