Air strikes kill civilians in Yemeni capital

Reuters , Friday 1 May 2015

Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition struck a residential district of the Yemeni capital Sanaa overnight, killing eight to 10 civilians, residents said on Friday.

The Saba state news agency, controlled by the Houthi movement in charge of Sanaa, put the death toll in the Sawan district at 20 and said more than 50 people had been wounded. It said casualties included woman and children.

Warplanes also struck a military airbase near the capital.

Saba said medics rushed to Sawan to try to rescue residents trapped under the rubble of homes.

The strikes came days after jets bombed the runway to stop an Iranian aid plane landing. Damage to the airport has stopped aid deliveries, officials said.

Saudi Arabia believes the Houthi group is a proxy its regional rival Iran, and Saudi backing for the resistance in Yemen's mostly Sunni Muslim south has raised fears that Yemen could descend into all-out sectarian war.

The Houthis hail from Yemen's far north and belong to the Zaydi sect of Shi'ite Islam. They swept into the capital Sanaa in September and pushed south and east, saying they were winning a revolution against Sunni militants and corrupt officials.

On Thursday, dozens of Houthi fighters were killed in clashes with Saudi forces on Yemen's northern border, Riyadh said. Air strikes and artillery fire rocked the southern city of Aden in fighting residents said was the worst in over a month of war.

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