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Saudi Coalition Airstrikes Hit Yemen Capital; 29 Killed

  • VOA News

People stand amid the rubble of a house damaged by Saudi-led airstrike in the old city of Sana'a, Yemen, Sept. 19, 2015.

People stand amid the rubble of a house damaged by Saudi-led airstrike in the old city of Sana'a, Yemen, Sept. 19, 2015.

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes against Yemen's Shi'ite rebels and their allies have killed 29 people, including civilians, in the capital, Sana'a, security and medical officials said Saturday.

The overnight airstrikes hit an apartment building in the center of the capital's old city, an area that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The officials, who remain neutral in the conflict that has divided Yemen's security forces, said 10 members of one family were killed.

The rebels, known as Houthis, lost 19 fighters in the overnight attack, the officials said.

The Saudi coalition, which includes nine other Arab nations and is supported by the United States, began fighting the rebels in March, two months after the Houthis drove the government from power and took control of Sana'a.

The airstrikes also hit the headquarters of the Interior Ministry and a military honor guard, according to government officials and witnesses. But several of the targets appeared to have no military value, witnesses said.

Also Saturday, about 100 people demonstrated in front of a Houthi headquarters building in Sana'a, a rare sign of dissent against the rebels since they overran the capital. The protesters called for the release of Mohammed Qahtan, a leader of Yemen's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and others.

Meanwhile, Oman's foreign ministry said the home of its ambassador in Sana'a was attacked in fighting Friday and called for an end to the combat.

The ministry did not give details about the incident or assign blame in its statement. It cited its "deep regret'' over the targeting of the residence and said the attack was "a clear violation of the charters and international norms that emphasize the inviolability of diplomatic premises.''

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