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Suspected Saudi-led raid kills Yemeni civilians

Updated May 18, 2017 08:08am

SANAA: A suspected raid by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen killed more than 20 civilians on Wednesday, the latest in a spate of deadly strikes by the alliance that have drawn condemnation.

Saba news agency, which is controlled by the Iran-backed rebels, said a vehicle carrying civilians in the town of Mawzaa, southwest of third city Taez, was hit in the raid.

It said 23 civilians, including six children and women, were killed in a suspected raid by the Arab coalition led by regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia and that six bodies were burned beyond recognition.

A military source with loyalist forces confirmed the strike, saying 20 civilians had died in what appeared to have been the result of a “mistake”.

The air raid targeted an area held by the Huthi rebels, said the source who confirmed that a vehicle had been struck.

The passengers were heading back to Mawzaa after a shopping trip to the nearby town of Barah, the military source said, adding several bodies had been torn to pieces.

There was no immediate reaction from the Saudi-led coalition, which has been battling the Huthis opposed to the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The raid comes days before US President Donald Trump is to arrive on Saturday in Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip since taking office in January.

Washington provides intelligence as well as aerial refuelling to coalition warplanes conducting air strikes in Yemen with American-supplied weapons.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2017