At least 29 children were killed Thursday in an attack on a bus in rebel-held northern Yemen, where a Saudi-led military coalition said it carried out a strike, the Red Cross said.
“A hospital supported by our team in Yemen received the bodies of 29 children under the age of 15 and 48 wounded, including 30 children,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) tweeted.
A spokesman for the Red Cross in Sanaa told AFP the toll was not final as casualties from the attack had been taken to several different hospitals.
The coalition fighting alongside the government against Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen said it carried out a “legitimate military action” in the area.
The coalition said the strike targeted the Iran-backed Huthi rebels responsible for a deadly missile attack on the Saudi city of Jizan on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia shot down the missile, with debris killing a Yemeni man and wounding 11 others, the coalition said.
In an earlier tweet, the Red Cross said the strike hit a bus filled with children in Dahyan Market in northern Saada, a stronghold of the Huthi rebels.
“Under international humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict,” the ICRC said.
The attack was also denounced by the UN children agency, UNICEF. “STOP CRUELTY AGAINST CHILDREN.. NO Excuses anymore!” it said.
The Huthi’ Al-Masirah TV reported that 39 people had been killed and 51 wounded, “mostly children”.
On August 2, attacks on a hospital and a fish market in the strategic rebel-held port city of Hodeida killed at least 55 civilians and wounded 170, according to the ICRC.
The coalition denied responsibility for those attacks.
The coalition, which also includes the United Arab Emirates, intervened in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government after the rebels drove it out of the capital Sanaa.
The war in the impoverished country has since left nearly 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.