Airstrike on children's bus in Yemen kills at least 20

Image      An ICRC-supported hospital received many dead and wounded Red Cross says

The State Department has "seen the news reports" about a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 70 - most of whom were children - in northern Saada, Yemen, but "can't confirm all the details because we are not there on the ground", Nauert told reports during a press briefing on Thursday.

The coalition did not specify the target, but the International Committee of the Red Cross said the attack hit a bus filled with children, causing dozens of casualties.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a hospital it supported in Saada had received dozens of casualties after the attack.

"Under global humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict", the ICRC said.

The Huthi' Al-Masirah TV reported that 39 people had been killed and 51 wounded, "mostly children".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an "independent and prompt" probe, while State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington was "calling the Saudi led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident".

The Saudi-led coalition is fighting to defeat Houthi rebels who expelled the Yemeni government from the capital and took control of vast swathes of the country.

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He said it had hit "militants responsible for planning and targeting civilians" in the southern Saudi city of Jazan on Wednesday night, where one Yemeni resident was killed and 11 others were injured by fragments from an intercepted ballistic missile that was launched by the Houthis from neighbouring Amran province. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis in response to the coalition allegations.

Citing "local officials", the head of the worldwide aid group's delegation in Yemen says that in total at least 50 people died and dozens more were injured. Houthi backed television stations broadcast footage of young children receiving treatment in local hospitals.

The United States is helping the coalition, the only party in the conflict to use war planes, with refueling, intelligence, and billions in weapons sales.

Reporters at the scene said it was unclear why the bus was targeted, noting that there are no military installations anywhere near the market.

Col Al Maliki said the coalition was not intentionally targeting civilians, saying the forces used "a high standard measure for targeting, ... civilian casualties are a loss to the coalition and we can not accept high civilian casualties in Yemen".

The war in the impoverished country has since left almost 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. They say their missile attacks on the kingdom are in retaliation for air raids on Yemen by the Western-backed coalition.

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