Many civilians among wounded by coalition airstrike in Yemen-MSF

by Reuters
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 14:30 GMT

An ambulance drives past a building destroyed during recent fighting in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Anees Mahyoub

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By Angus McDowall

RIYADH, March 15 (Reuters) - Dozens of injured civilians sought medical help at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Yemen after an airstrike in Haja province by the Saudi-led coalition, the medical group said on Tuesday.

It said in a series of Tweets that more than 40 injured people, all of them civilians and including women and children, among them an eight-year old in critical condition, were admitted to the Abs Hospital after a strike in Mustaba.

The coalition entered Yemen's civil war a year ago seeking to stop the Houthi militia and forces loyal to ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh from controlling the country, fighting instead to restore the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

A spokesman for the coalition was not immediately available for comment. Saba Net, a Yemeni news agency controlled by the Houthis, reported that 65 people had been killed and 55 wounded in the strike on a market and restaurant in Mustaba.

Over 6,000 people, half of them civilians, have been killed in the war since the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in March 2015, the U.N. says.

In January, a U.N. panel found that the coalition had targeted civilians with air strikes, said some of the attacks could be crimes against humanity, and recommended the Security Council consider establishing an inquiry into violations.

The Saudi-led coalition strongly denies it targets civilians and in January said it had introduced tougher procedures to investigate reports of strikes that caused civilian deaths and to improve its targeting mechanisms with help from the U.S.

(Reporting By Angus McDowall Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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