Mourners bury Yemeni kids killed in coalition strike

Saudi Arabia launched a war on Yemen in 2015 to reinstate former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi

Saudi Arabia launched a war on Yemen in 2015 to reinstate former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi

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A Saudi-led Arab military alliance has said it would investigate an air strike that killed dozens of children in Yemen, an apparent shift of stance on an attack Riyadh has portrayed as a legitimate action against its Houthi foes.

Dozens of Yemeni children gathered on Sunday in the capital Sanaa to protest against airstrikes by the Saudi-led worldwide coalition, which is believed to be behind the recent bombing of three buses that killed at least 51 people, mostly children.

The Saudi-led coalition has taken part in Yemen's conflict since 2015 in support of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi's government in its fight against the Houthis. "Death to America, death to Israel", the crowd chanted, echoing the Houthis' slogan. The U.S. has backed a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to restore the government.

The mass funeral was held in Saada city, a stronghold of the Iran-backed Huthi rebels, with images broadcast by the rebels' Al-Masirah television.

The coalition said Friday it would launch a probe to "assess the events (and) clarify their circumstances", while the United Nations Security Council has called for a "credible investigation".

"War is not something that can actually be a clean operation", said Anwar Gargash, according to the Associated Press news agency.

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The coalition initially said after the attack that the strike had targeted missile launchers that were used by the Houthis to attack the southern Saudi province of Jizan.

In this regard, she explained that the number of children killed in that bombing last Thursday reached 51, with 79 injured; the minister added that there are more 15 bodies not yet identified.

Last week, Saudi attacks on a hospital and a fish market in the strategic port city of Hudaydah killed at least 55 civilians and wounded 170, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Critics have rejected the USA military's assertion that it is not involved in the Yemeni conflict because it does not, for example, launch strikes on Houthi targets.

Defense officials described the US general's visit as a fact-finding mission and said the United States would not conduct a separate investigation.

Rights groups have been criticising the USA for massive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, which is engaged in a bloody military conflict with neighbouring Yemen.

Griffiths is trying to negotiate an end to the three-year conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people and pushed Yemen to the verge of starvation.

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