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UN Rights Office: Saudi-Led Yemen Strikes Kill Dozens of Civilians

A man stands at the scene of an airstrike that hit a truck at a gas station in Abss, Yemen, April 24, 2018.

The U.N. Human Rights Office is calling for an investigation into the killings of dozens of civilians in Yemen during the past four days by Saudi-led Coalition airstrikes.

The office reports Saudi-led airstrikes killed at least 45 people, all civilians, and wounded many more, including women and children in three separate incidents.

The first attack on Friday reportedly killed 21 civilians, including five children traveling in a vehicle in a village in Taizz governorate. Two days later, human rights monitors report many people were killed and injured in two separate incidents.

U.N. Human Rights Office spokeswoman Liz Throssell said the most devastating of these occurred at a wedding ceremony. She says two coalition airstrikes destroyed a wedding tent killing at least 19 civilians and injuring some 50 others.She says the final toll of deaths and injuries may be higher.

"Local inhabitants informed our staff that the victims do not have any political affiliations, not to say that that would have made the wedding party a legitimate target.They also said that there were no military objectives in the vicinity of the targeted area at the time of the attack," she said.

Throssell told VOA she does not know whether the attacks on civilian targets resulted from mistakes or were part of deliberate actions.

"We have over the years, since March 2015 documented numerous attacks often when large numbers of civilians have been killed in cases like wedding parties or funerals where civilians gather. But it is clear that such incidents continue to shock, and that is why it is so important that there is an independent thorough investigation," said the spokeswoman.

The U.N. Human Rights Office is urging the Saudi-led coalition to fully investigate all these latest deadly attacks. It adds those found to be responsible should be held accountable and reparations should be provided to the victims.