At least five people have lost their lives in fresh Saudi airstrikes on Yemen, including one killed by a cluster bomb in the capital, Sana’a.
According to Yemen’s al-Masirah news channel, Saudi jets pounded various districts of Sana’a, using cluster bombs early on Thursday.
A civilian was killed and a number of others were injured during the raids. Witnesses said some of the bombs were left unexploded.
Saudi warplanes also bombarded residential buildings in the al-Marzaq district of Hajjah Province, killing four people and injuring two others.
Saudi Arabia began the military campaign against Yemen in late March 2015. The strikes are supposedly meant to undermine the Ansarullah movement and restore power to fugitive former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
'Saudi War Crime'
Leading rights group Human Rights Watch confirmed the cluster bomb attack in the Yemeni capital's residential areas, saying it amounted to "a war crime."
"The inherently indiscriminate nature of cluster munitions makes such attacks serious violations of the laws of war," Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement on Thursday.
“The (Saudi) coalition’s repeated use of cluster bombs in the middle of a crowded city suggests an intent to harm civilians, which is a war crime,” he said.
“These outrageous attacks show that the coalition seems less concerned than ever about sparing civilians from war’s horrors,” Goose added.
Rights groups had earlier exposed Saudi Arabia’s use of cluster bombs in the war on Yemen.
The Human Rights Watch said in late May 2015 Saudi warplanes had targeted civilians and residential areas with cluster bombs in the northern province of Sa’ada.
More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since the strikes began. The Saudi war has also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure.
Yemenis have responded with attacks against Saudi forces deployed in the country as well as targets inside Saudi Arabia.