Yemen: Over 40 killed in Saudi-led airstrikes

Reuters

He said more people were believed to be inside the rubble.

Witnesses told AFP that one of the raids had targeted a small hotel housing employees of a firm of qat, a plant euphoriant widely consumed in Yemen.

A report by the Protection Cluster in Yemen last week said Yemen suffered more air strikes in the first half of this year than in all of 2016, increasing the number of civilian deaths and forcing more people to flee their homes.

The TV network said 41 civilians were killed and that the death toll was expected to rise further.

Qassemi further urged the United Nations and other global organizations to step into the fray and address the slaughter of innocent civilians in Yemen by Saudi Arabia as soon as possible.

A local television channel run by the country's Houthi rebels, who control Sanaa, blamed the Saudi-led military coalition allied with the Yemeni government for the strike.

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Fahd Marhab, head of the Umrah hospital, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the site of the airstrike, said there were no wounded and that all the people in the hotel were killed in the 3 a.m. airstrike.

The Saudi officials were not immediately available to comment.

The United States also regularly conducts drone strikes on Yemen which Washington says target Al-Qaeda. The air strikes attacked every part of Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia and its regional partners have used Iran's influence over Yemen's Houthi rebels to justify an extensive bombing campaign since March 2015.

The attacks led Saleh to back the Houthis, despite him having fought viciously against the Houthi movement when he was in office.

The two factions have traded barbs on responsibility for challenges such as unemployment and mounting hunger after 2-1/2 years of fighting the internationally recognised government, based in the south and backed by the Saudi-led coalition.

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