Sunday, October 30th, 2016 at 7:40pm

Yemen: Dozens killed in Saudi-led coalition air raids

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Arab coalition fighter jets have hit a prison facility run by Houthi rebels in western Yemen’s Hodeidah city, killing at least 60 people, including inmates, officials and medics said on Sunday.

The prison held 84 inmates when it was struck three times late on Saturday, Hashem al-Azizi, deputy governor of the province of Hodeidah, told Reuters news agency.

“Sixty people in total were killed and dozens were wounded,” a local health official told AFP.

The rebel-controlled also gave a toll of 60 killed and 38 wounded, adding that “dead bodies are still being retrieved” from under the rubble.

The Saudi-led alliance that conducted the raid said it struck a “central security building” used as a military command centre by the Houthi rebels it is fighting. Local officials said the prison lies within a security complex but that only prison guards were present during the air strike.

“This building is used by Houthi militia and the forces of the deposed president as a command and control centre for their military operations,” a statement by the coalition said, referring to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a Houthi ally.

“The coalition forces’ leadership stresses that targeting protocols and procedures were followed fully,” the statement said.

Abdel-Rahman Jarallah, director of Hodeidah health office, told DPA news agency that all the people killed were civilians. He said a search operation was ongoing for more victims trapped in the rubble.

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Hodeidah, a port city on the Red Sea, was captured along with vast majority of the country, including the capital Sanaa, by Houthi rebels and their allies in late 2014.

The Arab coalition has been fighting the rebels since March 2015 to try to restore to office internationally-recognised President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by the group.

International efforts to agree to a ceasefire has so far been unsuccessful, amid a mounting humanitarian crisis.

On Saturday, the exiled Hadi rejected a UN peace proposal to end the turmoil saying the deal would “reward the rebels and penalise the Yemeni people and legitimacy”.

The attacks come two days after the coalition said they had intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile allegedly fired by the Houthis at the Saudi city of Mecca, one of Islam’s holiest places. The Houthis have denied that.

More than 100 people gathered in the capital Sanaa for a funeral were killed earlier this month in a coalition air raid. The Arab-led alliance blamed that bombing on “wrong information” from its Yemeni allies.

Elsewhere on Saturday, strikes on residential buildings killed 17 people and wounded seven in the battleground town of Salo, southeast of Yemen’s third city Taez, said rebel-controlled media.

The conflict has killed nearly 7,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the United Nations which had been struggling to convince the warring parties to implement a ceasefire and revive a stalled political process.

The conflict has killed nearly 7,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the United Nations [Reuters]

Source: Al Jazeera News And Agencies

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