Saudi airstrikes on Yemeni capital kill, injure nearly 100 civilians
At least half a dozen civilians have been killed and dozens more wounded after two airstrikes carried out by warplanes of a Saudi-led military coalition hit the office of the presidency in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a.
Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing its correspondent in the scene, reported on Monday that Saudi fighter jets launched at least two airstrikes against the building, situated in the packed district of Tahrir, killing at least six civilians, including a child, and wounded 86 others, including school children.
It added that due to the magnitude of the explosions in the crowded area the toll could possibly rise, as the raids have already inflicted heavy damage to the surrounding residential buildings and vehicles.
Meanwhile, the principal of the Gamal Abdel Nasser School, close to the presidency building, told al-Masirah that an unspecified number of students sustained injuries, adding that the huge blasts threw the students into a sudden panic, prompting the school authorities to suspend the exams.
The report added that ambulances were busy transporting the injured to nearby hospitals and medical centers for due treatment.
Photos circulated in social media show disturbing images of panicked people, some partially covered with blood, running here and there, with streets filled with rubble, buildings shattered, and cars bent out of shape.
The presidential building is located near a hotel, a bank and shops, and not far from the central bank.
“We were working next door to the presidential offices and heard a plane, and then an explosion,” Ahmed Dehashir, a first responder.
“Some people rushed to the scene and saw the destruction and people caught under the rubble. We tried to dig out the dead and wounded from under the debris, and then there was a second strike,” he further said, adding, “There are a lot of people trapped under the rubble.”
Yemen’s official Saba news agency, citing an unnamed security source, said that the Saudi-led coalition intentionally choose bombard crowded places in rush hour to take more casualties.
In one of the deadliest air raids against Yemeni people, Saudi warplanes last month hit a wedding ceremony in Hajjah several times, killing almost 50 people and wounding 55 more. Saudi jets also carried out raids on ambulances transporting the casualties to local hospitals.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 in support of Yemen’s former Riyadh-friendly government and against the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which plays a significant role in supporting the Yemeni army against the Saudi-led campaign, which has killed and injured over 600,000 civilians, according to the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights.
Ansarullah has also been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration in the war-torn country.
The Saudi-led offensive has, however, achieved neither of its goals despite the spending of billions of petrodollars and the enlisting of Saudi Arabia’s regional and Western allies. The United States and Britain, in particular, are accused of being complicit in the aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment.