A massive airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting rebels hit a local marketplace in Yemen, killing over 45 civilians on Monday, security officials and eyewitnesses said.
More than 50 civilians were also wounded in the strike in Fayoush, a suburb just north of the southern port city of Aden, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information otherwise.
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“I came right after the explosion and saw dozens of dead strewn about and a sea of blood, while the wounded were being evacuated to nearby hospitals,” resident Abu-Ali al-Azibi said. “(There was) blood from people mixed with that of the sheep and other livestock at the market.”
The officials, who said they do not identify with either the rebels, known as Houthis, nor the camp of the exiled president, said Saudi-led airstrikes against the rebels continued across the country, with nine provinces and the capital hit.
The fighting in Yemen pits the Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and loyalists of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is now based in Saudi Arabia. The rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, in September. In March, a Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition began launching airstrikes against the rebels and their allies.
The conflict has left 20 million Yemenis without access to safe drinking water and uprooted over one million people from their homes, the United Nations said. Last Wednesday, it declared its highest-level humanitarian emergency in the country, where over 80 per cent of the population needs assistance.