Sanaa, Feb 27 (IANS) Warplanes of the Saudi-led Arab coalition launched airstrikes that mistakenly hit a public market in the northeastern part of the area here on Saturday, killing at least 45 civilians.
One of the Sanaa-based residents told Xinhua that “Several Saudi-led airstrikes directly struck people gathered in a crowded market in Nehm district of Sanaa province and killed about 45 civilians while 50 others were injured at the scene.”
Witnesses confirmed that “the air bombing targeted the popular market in Nehm at first and then returned back to hit the rescuers in double tap airstrikes.”
Meanwhile, the Houthis-affiliated Masirah TV channel reported that “more than 25 citizens were killed and nearly 30 others injured during airstrikes by the Saudi-led aggression on Nehm’s market.”
The Saudi-backed Yemeni government forces have advanced to within 50 km from Sanaa earlier this month, after recapturing military posts in Nehm district and its mountains overlooking the rebel-held capital from the northeast.
The advance, backed by the Saudi-led warplanes, came very slowly because of the rebel-planted mines on the roads towards Sanaa.
The Saudi-led coalition started daily air bombing on the Shiite Houthi rebels and their allied forces since March 2015, vowing to drive out the rebels and retrieve Sanaa.
More than 6,000 people have been killed in ground battles and airstrikes, half of them civilians.