In Yemen Coalition strikes kill 17 civilians: rebels

A doctor at the town's public hospital said it had received the bodies of 15 dead and was treating seven wounded.

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Smoke billows from buildings following a reported air strike carried out by the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on October 5, 2016 play

Smoke billows from buildings following a reported air strike carried out by the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on October 5, 2016

(AFP/File)
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Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen killed 17 civilians in a battleground southwestern town on Saturday, the insurgents said.

Rescuers were still pulling bodies from the rubble after the raids hit residential buildings in Salo southeast of Yemen's third city Taez, rebel-controlled media said, giving a toll of 17 dead and seven wounded.

Most of those killed were women, sabanews.net said, reporting four strikes hit three residential buildings, "completely destroying them".

A doctor at the town's public hospital said it had received the bodies of 15 dead and was treating seven wounded.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition, which launched a military campaign against the Iran-backed Huthi rebels and their allies in March last year to support President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's government.

But a local Yemeni official loyal to the Saudi-backed government said the coalition air strikes had hit three adjacent homes by mistake.

"All those in the houses were killed," he told AFP, adding that a child and seven women were among the dead.

The coalition has come under mounting international criticism for the high civilian death toll from its bombing campaign.

An October 8 strike that killed more than 140 people attending a funeral ceremony for the father of a rebel leader in the capital Sanaa drew condemnation even from close Western allies.

The coalition launched a swift investigation into that attack and acknowledged that one of its warplanes had "wrongly targeted" the funeral based on "incorrect information".

It announced disciplinary measures, compensation for the families of victims and allowed the most seriously wounded to be evacuated on board an Omani flight.

The town of Salo has been the scene of fierce fighting for months as pro-Hadi forces attempt to advance towards Taez, where the government garrison is almost entirely surrounded by the rebels and dependent on a single supply line from the south.

The Shiite Huthi rebels have been attempting to block the advance, which would allow reinforcements to be brought directly along the main road from the government's headquarters in second city Aden to the south.

A Yemeni man stands at the site of an air raid on a funeral ceremony that killed 140 people and wounded 525 on October 8 play

A Yemeni man stands at the site of an air raid on a funeral ceremony that killed 140 people and wounded 525 on October 8

(AFP/File)

Thousands of people have been forced from their homes by the fighting.

Rebel media said those killed in Saturday's air strikes were among them.

Nationwide, three million Yemenis have been displaced since the Saudi-led intervention began.

Nearly 7,000 people have been killed, mostly civilians, and more than 35,000 wounded.

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