1 Apr 2015

Yemen: factory worker deaths ‘linked to deadly air strike’

At least 25 people are killed in a blast at a dairy factory in Yemen’s Hodaida port, medical sources say, as Saudi-led air strikes continue against Houthi rebels.

The incident would appear to be one of the biggest cases of civilian deaths since a Saudi-led coalition began an air campaign against Houthi militia on March 26.

According to the website of Yemen‘s factionalised army, which mostly sides with the Houthis, 37 people had been killed and another 80 were wounded at the dairy and oil factory as a “result of aggressive raids that targeted manufacturers”.

Read more: Yemen - a war with many fronts and many forces

However, medics said 25 workers at the plant had been killed at the factory, which was located near an army camp loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, believed to be a Houthi ally.

Saudi Arabia’s intervention is the latest front in its widening contest with Iran for power in the region. The operation led by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim states aims to prevent the Iranian-backed Houthis and former Saleh from winning control of the country. They instead want to reinstate Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

A raid at a coastal defence station at Maidi port in Hajja province north of Hodaida killed six soldiers, workers there said, while further strikes hit an army camp in Sanaa and a government facility in Saadeh in the north of Yemen.

According to Unicef in New York, at least 62 children have been killed in the past week in the country:

The United Nations also said an attack on a refugee camp in northern Yemen, which medics blamed on an air strike, broke international law.

In a statement, a spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “The secretary-general reminds all parties involved in military operations in Yemen of their obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of civilians.

These attacks left dozens dead and injured, among them children. UN spokesman

“This includes the strict adherence to the principles of proportionality, distinction, and precaution.

“He also stresses that hospitals and other medical installations have a special protected status under international law. The Secretary-General reiterates his firm belief in the necessity to resolve the conflict through peaceful means.”

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What is going on in Yemen?It’s now caught up in a civil war between the Saudi-supported Sunni monarchy and rebel Houthi militia, backed by Shia Iran.And in the middle of the country, the presence of Islamic State continues to grow.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Tuesday, March 31, 2015