Saudi coalition calls wrongful attack on Yemeni capital 'technical mistake'

Posted August 27, 2017

Airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition have killed 42 civilians in Yemen over the past week, with multiple children among the dead, the United Nations human rights office said on Friday.

Our ground personnel are still gathering some info on these air strikes, spokeswoman Liz Throssell told reporters in Geneva.

On Wednesday, the coalition fighter jets killed more than 35 people in a hotel north of the capital Sanaa, according to officials and witnesses.

"Last night the Saudi Arabia-led coalition rained down bombs on civilians while they slept, killing five children and leaving three others seriously injured".

After a deadly air strike on a house earlier this month, the UN's Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said all parties to the conflict were continuing to "show a disregard for the protection of civilians and the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants in the conduct of hostilities".

There has been no comment from the Saudis on this most recent strike, however, but with mounting civilian deaths, including a substantial number of children, being killed in airstrikes, they may feel uncomfortable trying to defend the campaign publicly.

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Yemen's internationally recognised government is backed by the Saudi-led military coalition and is based in the south.

The conflict has killed over 10,000 civilians, displaced 3 million people and pushed the impoverished nation to the brink of starvation.

It added it was committed to protecting civilians and respecting worldwide human rights law. When the review was complete it would announce the results, it said. The United Nations has said the coalition was likely responsible for a July attack on the southwestern Taez province that killed 20 people, including children.

Yemen's long war involving competing Yemeni factions and regional power struggles has killed at least 10,000 people.

"We remind all the parties of the conflict, including the coalition, about their duty to fully respect worldwide humanitarian law", added Throssell.