Saudi Arabia slams 'Houthi terrorist' attack in Yemen

AFP , Monday 20 Jan 2020

YemenPrince Faisal bin Farhan
Prince Faisal bin Farhan reminded ‘actors (to) take all the steps necessary to prevent any further escalation and any provocation.’ (Photo: AFP)

Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military coalition against the Houthi rebels in war-torn Yemen, condemned on Monday a missile attack that killed more than 100 Yemeni soldiers.

Saturday's missile strike blamed on the Iran-aligned Houthis follows months of relative calm in the conflict between the rebels and Yemen's internationally recognised government.

The Houthis attacked a mosque in a military camp in the central province of Marib -- about 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of the capital Sanaa -- during evening prayers, government military sources said on Sunday.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the terrorist attack carried out by the Houthi militia," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The assault "reflects this terrorist militia's disregard for sacred places and... for Yemeni blood".

The death toll increased to 116 and is expected to rise, military and medical sources told AFP on Monday. Earlier reports said that 83 were killed and 148 injured.

Death tolls in Yemen's grinding conflict are often disputed, but the huge casualty list in Marib represents one of the bloodiest single attacks since the war erupted in 2014 when the rebels seized the capital Sanaa.

The Houthis did not make any immediate claim of responsibility for the strike.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in the war that has ravaged the country, triggering what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in the conflict to back the government against the Houthis in March 2015, shortly after the rebels seized control of Sanaa.

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