WORLD Civilians wounded in Saudi-led strikes on Yemen capital: witnesses

WORLD

Civilians wounded in Saudi-led strikes on Yemen capital: witnesses

AFP | AFP

09:59, November 11, 2017

Yemeni men inspect the site of an air strike in the capital Sanaa, on November 5, 2017; fresh strikes come amid a ratcheting up of tensions between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran. Photo: AFP 

Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition left at least three civilians wounded in Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa late Friday, witnesses said.

The strikes hit a residential area near the ministry of defense building, which had been targeted just prior.

"I was sitting at home and heard the first strike hit the ministry of defense. Everyone was afraid. Minutes later, another strike hit my neighbor’s house," resident Mohammed Aatif said.

"My entire house shook," said Aatif, who fled with his family from the neighborhood.

He said the strike destroyed his neighbor's house, leaving an enormous crater, and damaged others.

Witnesses said the number of casualties may rise as wounded are pulled from the rubble.

The coalition has targeted the nearby defense ministry in the past, leaving it heavily damaged, but the fresh strikes come amid a ratcheting up of tensions between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran, which backs the Huthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia and its allies shut down Yemen's borders earlier this week after intercepting a ballistic missile fired by the Huthis near Riyadh airport on Saturday.

The rebels have threatened additional attacks on Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner the United Arab Emirates in response to the blockade.

The United Nations said on Friday that the coalition is still blocking desperately needed UN aid deliveries to Yemen despite the re-opening of the Yemeni port of Aden, as well as a land border crossing.

This week, UN aid chief Mark Lowcock warned the Security Council that, unless the blockade was lifted, Yemen would face "the largest famine the world has seen in decades, with millions of victims".

The world body listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million people in need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of famine.

More than 2,000 Yemenis have died in a cholera outbreak now affecting nearly one million people.

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