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Saudi air raid on camp for displaced in northwest Yemen kills 45, report says

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Smoke billows from the site of an explosion that hit an arms depot in Yemen’s second city of Aden on March 28, 2015. © AFP

At least 45 people have been killed and 65 others wounded in an airstrike by Saudi warplanes targeting a camp for displaced people in northwest Yemen, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.

“IOM is reporting 45 dead among internally displaced persons, 65 injured [and counting],” spokesman Joel Millman told AFP on Monday.

The humanitarian agency, Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), earlier said the airstrike killed at least 15 people.

The manager of the MSF program in the Middle East, Pablo Marco, said the bodies of the victims and those injured in the airstrike were taken to Haradh Hospital near the al-Mazrak camp in Yemen’s province of Hajja.

“It was an airstrike,” Marco said, adding that it was expected that “more dead are at al-Mazrak camp.”

The al-Mazrak camp has been housing the Yemeni people displaced by the conflict between Houthi fighters and the central government since 2009.

According to the MSF official, 500 new families have arrived at the camp over the past two days.

Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed that the camp had been targeted by the air raid.

Saudi Arabia continued its invasion of Yemen for a fifth straight day on Monday, with warplanes targeting areas around the presidential palace in the capital, Sana’a, as Ansarullah fighters keep advancing in areas around the southern port city of Aden.

The airstrikes began late Sunday and continued unabated for almost nine hours, with Saudi bombers targeting positions of the Houthi fighters and the soldiers from the Republican Guard around the presidential palace. A base operated by the Republican Guard in southern Sana’a was also targeted by the strikes.

Riyadh says it has launched the airstrikes, the first round of which was carried out on March 26, to defend the “legitimate government” of Yemen’s fugitive president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who fled to the Saudi capital on the same day. Riyadh has vowed to press ahead with the bombing until Hadi is reinstated.

The Saudi airstrikes have been launched without a United Nations mandate. Dozens of people have fallen victim to the attacks so far.


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