Yemen: Saudi air strikes kill 80 in war's deadliest day

A man walks past houses damaged by Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen's northwestern city of Saada, May 26.

Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen killed more than 80 people on May 27, making it the deadliest day since the start of Saudi military operations against the Yemeni rebels two months ago.

The Saudi raids took place near Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia. Residents told Reuters that more than 40 civilians were killed as the coalition's planes failed to target the rebel combatants who were fighting Saudi border soldiers at Bakeel al-Meer area in Hajjah province.

Another attack on a rebel military base in the Sabaaeen left 40 more dead, according to the rebels' media wing. A report by the rebel-run state news agency Saba said: “Around 40 people were martyred and more than 100 others were wounded, according to a preliminary toll, in bombing by the Saudi aggression planes on the Sabaaeen area in the capital Sanaa today.”

A Yemeni soldier who survived the attack told Reuters that the raid hit a warehouse where soldiers and rebels were getting weapons. “So far we're not sure how many are dead,” the soldier said.

The Yemeni rebels took over the capital Sanaa in September and placed the Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi under house arrest. Hadi then managed to escape and fled to the Saudi capital Riyadh. Saudi Arabia and its allies launched their military operation in Yemen in order to undermine the rebel takeover and restore Hadi as president.

The deadly day comes after the United Nations' chief Ban Ki-moon announced on May 26 that the UN-brokered peace talks between the rebels and the coalition had been postponed.

Meanwhile, the British-based relief agency Oxfam warned that day that more than 16 million Yemenis lacked access to clean water due to the continuing air strikes. This exposes more than two-thirds of the population of the impoverished nation to diseases, including malaria and cholera.

[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]

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