Middle East

Yemen war: Children dead after Sanaa air strike

People carry the body of woman they recovered from under the rubble of a house destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in Sanaa, Yemen (August 25, 2017) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Local residents carried bodies from the rubble of the two destroyed buildings

At least nine people, including children, have been killed after an air strike hit a residential area of Yemen's capital, Sanaa.

Witnesses said two buildings in the south of the city, which is controlled by Houthi rebels, had been destroyed.

Saudi-led forces have been fighting Shia Houthis - backed by Iran - for the last two years.

Thousands of civilians have died. The country is on the brink of famine and facing a cholera outbreak.

The planes, thought to be from the Saudi-led Arab coalition which backs Yemen's government, hit the buildings in the southern district of Faj Attan, according to AFP.

Resident Mohammed Ahmad told the agency he had helped take nine bodies to the hospital.

"We extracted them one by one from under the rubble," he said. "Some of them were children from a single family."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The area hit is in the south of Yemen's capital

The United Nations says 42 civilians were killed by Saudi-led coalition strikes in the week up until Thursday.

They include the victims of a strike on a hotel in the Arhab district of Sanaa on Wednesday, which killed 33 people and injured many more, according to the UN.

"We remind all parties to the conflict, including the Coalition, of their duty to ensure full respect for international humanitarian law," the UN said in a statement on the civilian deaths.

A further 16 civilians were killed by Houthi rebels or unknown assailants in the week to Thursday, the UN said.

The Saudi-led coalition is backing President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi's government in a war with the rebel Houthi movement.

More than 8,000 people have been killed and 46,000 injured in air strikes and fighting on the ground in Yemen since March 2015, according to the UN.

The conflict has also left 20.7 million people in need of some kind of humanitarian assistance, created the largest food security emergency in the world, and led to a cholera outbreak that is believed to have left 2,000 people dead since April.

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Media captionThe BBC travels deep into rebel held Yemen, to see starvation caused by war

After a deadly air strike on a house earlier this month, the UN's Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said all parties to the conflict were continuing to "show a disregard for the protection of civilians and the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants in the conduct of hostilities".

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