25 killed in Saudi airstrike in Yemen market: Reports

June 19: A Saudi-led coalition airstrike killed at least 25 people and wounded at least one at al-Mashnaq market in the northeastern Yemeni province of Saada late on Saturday, Reuters has reported, citing a Houthi rebel-linked health official.

The location was close to the frontline and rescue workers could not reach the area immediately due to fears of a follow-up artillery strike, according to the official.

“Rescue teams were unable to reach the area for some time for fear of being hit by artillery shelling of the area,” a representative of the Health Department office in Saada, Dr. Abdelilah al-Azzi told Reuters.

A number of paramedics were reportedly killed in the airstrike as the bombardment continued after the ambulances arrived at the market, Houthi rebel-run news channel Al Masirah reported. The death toll of 25 includes the rescue workers, according to the news channel.

The Saudi-led coalition has not acknowledged or otherwise commented on the reported incident.

The bombing campaign in support of ousted Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was launched by the Saudi-led coalition in March of 2015. While the aerial assault on the Houthi rebels and remnants of the country’s military loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh has had little to no military impact, it has resulted in over 10,000 civilian deaths, according to UN estimates.

The Saudi led coalition has struck civilian targets on numerous occasions, inflicting heavy casualties and causing destruction in the Middle East’s poorest country. In one of the deadliest attacks, over 140 people were killed and over 500 injured attending a funeral ceremony in the capital city of Sanaa last October. Additionally, an airstrike on a market in the northern part of the country killed 97 people in March of 2016, and another market attack in the southwest of the country claimed at least 23 lives last month.