05:53 GMT +322 September 2018
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    Smoke billows from buildings following a reported air strike carried out by the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on October 5, 2016

    Saudi-Led Coalition Regrets Deadly Bus Attack in Yemen, Calls it 'Unjustified'

    © AFP 2018 / MOHAMMED HUWAIS
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    An attack on a bus carrying children in Yemen's northern Saada province in August took lives of at least 50 people, injuring 77 more, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    The Saudi-led coalition confirmed that an airstrike on a school bus which killed dozens was unjustified, claiming it would punish those responsible for the mistakes that led to the tragedy. It also pledges to provide compensation to the victims in coordination with the Yemeni government.

    "The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition expresses regret over the mistakes, extends its sympathies, condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims," read a statement published by Saudi state news agency the SPA.

    READ MORE: Houthis Claim to Target Saudi Ship Off Jizan Coast — Reports

    Addressing the incident, Mansour Ahmed al-Mansour, legal adviser for the Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT), an investigative body for the coalition, stressed on Saturday that the strikes were carried out due to intelligence data that suggested the bus was carrying Houthi leaders.

    "An order had been given not to target the bus, which was among civilians, but the order arrived late," Mansour said, adding that "There was a clear delay in preparing the fighter jet at the appropriate time and place, thus losing (the opportunity) to target this bus as a military target in an open area in order to avoid such collateral damage."

    The Saudi-led coalition jets struck a school bus at a busy market in Yemen in August, killing 50 civilians. Addressing the tragedy, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent investigation into the incident. Later a UN panel of Human Rights experts claimed that some of the coalition airstrikes in Yemen may constitute war crimes.

    Yemen has been divided by a conflict between the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement for several years. The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015.

    Related:

    After School Bus Massacre in Yemen, US Media Finally Begins to Pay Attention
    UN Chief Calls for Independent Probe Into Airstrike on School Bus in Yemen
    State Dept Urges Saudi Coalition to Probe Deadly Strike on School Bus in Yemen
    Tags:
    bus, Yemen conflict, airstrike, Saudi-led Coalition, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
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