United Nations seeks 'credible' investigation into Yemen bus attack

One dead, several wounded after Saudi Arabia 'intercepts Yemen missile'

The United Nations has called for an independent investigation into the Saudi-led coalition airstrike on Yemen's Houthi rebels, who say it killed at least 50 people and wounded 77, many of them children.

A man transports a child to a hospital after he was wounded in a reported air strike in Saada on August 9, 2018.

Yemen's Houthi-run Al Masirah TV said that some 50 civilians had been killed and over 70 wounded in an airstrike that hit a bus, majority were reported to be young children.

UN-brokered negotiations on Yemen broke down in 2016 amid demands for a rebel withdrawal from key cities and power-sharing with the Saudi-backed government.

The Western-backed alliance fighting the Iranian-aligned Houthi group in Yemen said its actions were legitimate, insisting it never deliberately targets civilians.

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.

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"Parties to the conflict and those who have influence over them, including Security Council members, can and should choose to end this catastrophe for the sake of Yemen's children", Mrs Fore said.

A UNICEF-supported water station and sanitation centre in Hodeida which provide families with access to clean water and help prevent another outbreak of cholera were attacked and seriously damaged in recent weeks.

It had said on its Twitter account on Thursday that its medical team at the ICRC-supported hospital in Saada had received the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old.

It sent additional supplies to the hospital to cope with the influx of patients.

Following the strike, Al Masirah broadcast horrific images of lifeless bodies of children, covered in blood, and others who appeared severely wounded, lying on hospital stretchers crying and screaming in pain.

A spokesman for the Houthis said the coalition showed "clear disregard for civilian life" by targeting a crowded public place.

The ICRC stressed that "under worldwide humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict", while the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland called it a "grotesque, shameful" attack that showed "blatant disregard for rules of war".

The Saudi-led coalition has called the attack "legitimate".

It was not immediately clear whether the bus was the target of the air strike, but coalition spokesman Col Turki al-Malki said the attack was "a legitimate military action, conducted in conformity with worldwide humanitarian law".

It accused the Houthis of using children as human shields and said the strikes were carried out in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law.

Thursday's airstrike was carried out against a rebel-held area in Saada province, near the Saudi border.

The coalition denied responsibility for those attacks.

Why is there a war in Yemen?

Yemen is one of the world's poorest countries and the war has made conditions there much worse.

In March 2015 Saudi Arabia and other Arab states intervened on against the Houthis, and are continuing to do so.

The Yemen war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 2 million and driven the country to the verge of starvation, according to the United Nations.

The conflict in Yemen has created the largest food security emergency in the world and led to a cholera outbreak that has affected almost 1 million people since April.

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