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Saudi Coalition Calls Wrongful Attack on Yemeni Capital 'Technical Mistake'

© AP Photo / Hani MohammedSmoke rises after Saudi-led airstrikes hit a food factory in Sanaa, Yemen. (File)
Smoke rises after Saudi-led airstrikes hit a food factory in Sanaa, Yemen. (File) - Sputnik International
The Saudi-led coalition admits it has attacked a neighborhood in Yemeni capital Sana by mistake and blames Houthi rebels for the incident, Turki Maliki, the spokesman of the coalition said Saturday.

DUBAI (Sputnik) — The coalition airstrike hit a residential area in the south of Sana on Friday, killing at least 14 people. Following the reports about casualties among civilians, the coalition announced that it had launched a probe into the incident.

"The technical mistake led to an unintentional incident because of Houthi [rebels] who set their military objects in residential neighborhoods, using the civilians as human shields," Maliki said in a statement.

​The spokesman noted that it was not a direct hit and expressed condolences to the relatives of the victims. He added that a special commission will assess the inflicted damage.

The incident comes against the background of another airstrike, which led to deaths among civilians. On Wednesday, an airstrike of the Saudi-led coalition hit a hotel in the northern outskirts of Sana killing up to 60 people.

Yemen has been engulfed in a violent conflict between the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi Shia movement, also known as Ansar Allah, backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh since 2015. The Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries started carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request in March of the same year.

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