8 civilians killed in Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen

SANAA — At least eight civilians were killed in Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen’s southern province of Taiz on Thursday, medics and witnesses said.

“Eight workers were killed and 16 others wounded when their bus was hit by shrapnel and overturned in the airstrike,” a doctor from Taiz’s Hoban hospital told Xinhua by phone.

Witnesses said the airstrike hit a checkpoint run by Shiite Houthi group in Hoban area while the bus carrying the 24 workers to their factory was driving by.

A security source said “all Houthi fighters manning the targeted checkpoint, more than 15 fighters, were killed on the spot.”

On Wednesday, 41 Houthi fighters were killed in the Saudi-led airstrikes and battles against pro-government forces.

In the capital Sanaa which is under Houthi control since September last year, residents said airstrikes hit several military targets.

The fresh attacks cast a shadow over the upcoming peace talks held by the United Nations in Geneva, which aimed at ending the current civil war between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Shiite Houthi group supported by Iran.

This is the third time that the United Nations attempted to broker peace talks between the Yemeni government and Shiite Houthi group.

The two sides attended talks held in Geneva in June, which collapsed as the warring parties refused to meet each other in one room.

The second talks did not even start last month as the Yemeni government dropped out before it was to be held in Oman, as the two sides set preconditions.

The Houthi group and its allies confirmed to UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed that they will commit to the Security Council Resolution 2216 that calls for the withdrawal of Houthi forces from territories they have captured and for them to disarm. PNA/Xinhua