The Saudi-led coalition targeting rebels in Yemen launched a massive airstrike on Monday that hit a populated marketplace, killing more than 45 civilians, according to security officials and eyewitnesses.
More than 50 civilians were also wounded in the strike in Fayoush, a suburb just north of the southern port city of Aden, said officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information to the media.
“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,” said resident Abu-Ali al-Azibi. “[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, or 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 fighters 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, according to the United Nations. Last Wednesday, the U.N. declared its highest-level humanitarian emergency in the country, where over 80 percent of the population needs assistance.
The Associated Press