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Houthi Rebels, Saudis Trade Blame Over Deaths of 20 Civilians in Northern Yemen


A Yemeni girl injured during a reported airstrike in the Kisar district of the northern Hajjah province receives treatment at a hospital in the Houthi rebel-held capital Sanaa, March 11, 2019.

Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition blamed each other on Monday for the deaths of more than 20 civilians in a village in northern Yemen over the past several days.

The victims include children.

The Iranian-backed rebels blame Saudi-led airstrikes while Saudi television says the Houthis killed the civilians when rebel fighters tried to stop an uprising against their movement by a local tribe.

Independent media have been unable to confirm the deaths.

A Saudi-led coalition has used airstrikes to help the Yemeni government in its fight against the Houthis. The rebels seized the capital of Sanaa in 2014, sending the Yemeni government into exile.

Both sides reached an uneasy cease-fire in the key port city of Hodeidah in December, but the Houthis still control most of the north and west.

The fighting has killed tens of thousands and has aggravated the misery for civilians already suffering from severe food and medicine shortages in one of the world's poorest countries.