Saudi-led Airstrikes Kill Yemeni Imam’s Family

Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition hit a house in the northern Yemeni city of Sa’ada in the early hours of Wednesday, killing at least 16 civilians of a Yemeni mosque imam’s family, reported Reuters.

The airstrikes were part of an ongoing air campaign led by Saudi Arabia and aimed at dislodging Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, from the Yemeni capital and northern regions of the country.

Yemen’s rebel-controlled state news agency SABA signaled Wednesday that the overnight airstrikes targeted the district of al-Sahan in Sa’ada, a Houthi stronghold. It said most of those killed were from three families, and children were among the victims.

Security and medical officials in southern Yemen said that the death toll from Monday’s suicide bombing by the Islamic State group in Aden had risen to 72, marking the deadliest attack on the southern city this year. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press.

A rocket launched from inside Yemen into Saudi Arabia later on Wednesday killed a Saudi soldier in the southern city of Najran, according to the Saudi interior ministry.

Saudi authorities say a wave of shelling by the Houthis since August has killed 29 civilians, including children, and injured around 300 in Najran.

The United Nations human rights office called on Aug. 25 for more light to be shed on the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen and for violations, including attacks on protected sites like hospitals, to be punished.

Coalition airstrikes are responsible for some 60 percent of the civilians killed since March 2015, a U.N. rights office said in a report last week.

At least 10,000 people have been killed overall in Yemen’s 18-month-old civil war, the United Nations said on Tuesday, approaching double the estimates of more than 6,000 cited by officials and aid workers for much of 2016.