Dozens dead after school bus carrying children hit by airstrike in Yemen

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At least 43 people, mostly children believed to be under the age of 10, were killed and several injured when Saudi-led coalition airstrikes hit buses in northern Yemen on Thursday, officials said.

The coalition said it had carried out what it called "legitimate military action" in the area targeting Huthi rebels responsible for a deadly missile attack on the Saudi city of Jizan on Wednesday.

"Following an attack this morning on a bus driving children in Dahyan Market, northern Saada, (an ICRC-supported) hospital has received dozens of dead and wounded", the organisation said on Twitter without giving more details.

"Our noncombat support focuses on improving coalition processes and procedures, especially regarding compliance with the law of armed conflict and best practices for reducing the risk of civilian casualties", the statement said.

A man carries a wounded child to the hospital Thursday after the Saudi-led coalition carried out an airstrike on a crowded area in Houthi-controlled Saada province.

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates got involved in Yemen's civil war in 2015.

The Saudi-led coalition is fighting to defeat Houthi rebels who expelled the Yemeni government from the capital and took control of vast swathes of the country.

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The coalition denied responsibility for those attacks.

The ICRC says most of the casualties were children under the age of 10 and were killed when their bus was targeted along with the market they were in.


"The Coalition will take all necessary measures against the terrorist, criminal acts of the terrorist Iranian-Houthi militia, such as recruiting child soldiers, throwing them in battlefields and using them as tools and covers to their terrorist acts", coalition spokesperson Col. Video footage, which CBS News can't independently verify, appear to show the devastating aftermath.

In a statement, Save the Children condemned the attacks and called for a "full, immediate and independent investigation into this and other recent attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals".

"Targeting Saudis and residents in Saudi is a red line", coalition spokesman Turki al Malki later told Al Arabiya TV.

But on social media, critics noted that other coverage of the air strike in the United States and Britain-which also supports the coalition-failed to acknowledge the countries' involvement in the war. The coalition faces widespread worldwide criticism for its airstrikes in Yemen that kill civilians. "US mid air support", Murphy said in a tweet.

The Yemen war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than two million and driven the country to the verge of starvation, according to the United Nations.