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'Unlawful' Airstrikes in Yemen Target Businesses, Rights Group Says

FILE - People gather on the rubble of shops destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike at a market in Sana'a, Yemen, July 20, 2015.

An international human rights group says Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen have unlawfully hit numerous businesses in the year-long conflict, killing 130 people and leaving hundreds of people unemployed.

In a report released Monday, Human Rights Watch says the businesses include factories, commercial warehouses and power facilities that it described as producing, storing and distributing food, medicine and electricity.

The group said 10 of the attacks on 13 key facilities appear to be "unlawful" because there were no military facilities in the vicinity. It said some of the strikes may amount to war crimes.

"The repeated coalition airstrikes on civilian factories appear intended to damage Yemen's shattered economy long into the future," said Priyanka Motaparthy, senior HRW emergencies researcher and author of the report.

In June, both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called for Saudi Arabia's suspension from the U.N. Human Rights Council until Saudi forces halt airstrikes in Yemen that have killed more than 900 civilians.

The airstrikes are coupled with a naval and air embargo on Yemen that has caused shortages of food and fuel.

According to the latest figures released by the U.N. human rights office, more than 3,500 people have been killed and nearly 6,300 wounded in Yemen since the beginning of Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in March 2015.