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Rights group ‘appalled’ by Saudi-led airstrike that killed children

Yemenis attend a protest against a Saudi-led airstrike that earlier hit a bus in the northwestern Sa’ada Province, killing 40 children, in the capital Sana’a, Yemen, on August 11, 2018. (File photo by AFP)

A prominent children’s rights organization says it has been “shocked and appalled” by a recent Saudi-led airstrike against Yemen that killed four children, calling for an investigation into the raid.

The UK-based Save the Children said on Tuesday that the airstrike hit the vicinity of a hospital supported by the organization near Sa’ada Province’s capital of the same name. Three more people, including health workers and security guards, were also killed during the attack, while two more adults are still unaccounted for, it added.

Save the Children called for “an urgent investigation into the latest atrocity.”

“We are shocked and appalled by this outrageous attack,” its chief executive Helle Thorning-Schmidt said.

“This hospital is just one of the many Save the Children supports across Yemen, delivering life-saving aid to children living in what is the worst place on earth to be a child,” she said. “These children have the right to be safe in their hospitals, schools, and homes… Children must be protected.”

A recent report by the organization said the Saudi-led war on Yemen has killed at least 2,500 Yemeni children — 30 children every month — since March 2015, when the aggression started.

Last August, Saudi warplanes used US-supplied bombs to target a school bus in Sa’ada, killing 40 children on board.

The overall death toll from the war — launched to reinstate a former Yemeni regime that had been submissive to Riyadh — stands at above 57,000, according to multinational humanitarian organization Action against Hunger.

Civilians, including children, are indiscriminately targeted by the Saudi-led coalition, which receives intelligence and logistical assistance from the US and the UK. Children are also the main victims of a widespread famine caused by a blockade that the Saudi-led coalition has imposed on Yemen.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, considered the architect of the war, has reportedly said children and women should be targeted in Yemen to instill fear in the population.

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