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Yemen market strike toll rises to 119 dead: UN

AFP , Thursday 17 Mar 2016
A Yemeni man inspects the damage at a site reportedly hit by Saudi-led airstrikes in the capital Sanaa on January 6, 2016 (Photo: AFP)

The number of people killed in air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition on a market in northern Yemen's rebel-held Hajja province on Tuesday has risen to 119, a UN agency said.

The strikes saw 119 killed, including up to 22 children, and 47 injured, the UNICEF children's agency said in a statement.

It is one of the highest death tolls since the Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes in support of the internationally recognised government against Houthi rebels and their allies in March last year.

Medics and tribal sources previously reported 41 people killed in the strike.

"We strongly deplore the deadliest attack in Al-Khamees market in Mastaba district of Hajja governorate," the UNICEF statement said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday demanded an investigation into the incident, calling it "one of the deadliest -- reportedly killing and wounding scores of civilians, including women and children -- since the start of the conflict".

The World Health Organisation says more than 6,200 people have been killed in the conflict since March 2015 and the United Nations has warned of a "human catastrophe unfolding in Yemen".

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