Yemen’s Houthi rebels say at least four civilians, including a child, have been killed in an air raid by a Saudi-led coalition that struck a vehicle as it travelled through the country’s northwest.
The attack reportedly took place on Sunday in the Bani Hassan district of Abs province in Hajjah, some 200km west of the capital, Sanaa.
Al Masirah, a TV channel affiliated with the Houthis – a group of rebels who control most of north and central Yemen – said all four of the passengers were killed.
It published photos on its website of a bombed-out vehicle and the dismembered body of two of the victims.
Al Jazeera could not independently verify the claims.
The kingdom has been bombing Yemen since March 2015 after the Houthis swept across the country and toppled the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also carried out bombing campaigns in an attempt to reverse their gains, and has deployed more than 1,000 Emirati troops throughout the country.
Saudi air raids have repeatedly struck civilian targets during the three-year war, with the Yemen Data Project, an independent monitor, reporting more than 50 air raids against civilian cars and buses this year.
Its findings have also revealed that nearly one third of the 16,000 air raids carried out on Yemen since March 2015 have struck non-military sites, including weddings, funerals, hospitals as well as water and electricity plants.
The Saudi-UAE military alliance has acknowledged mistakes in air operations, but has mostly defended its record.
It has denied deliberately targeting civilians but has faced mounting criticism following a recent air attack on a school bus that killed 40 children.
The United Nations has repeatedly criticised the alliance’s bombing campaign and last year placed it on a blacklist of child rights violators.
‘Blame King Salman and MBS’
WATCH: US/UK reporting on Yemen (26:30)
According to the UN, more than 10,000 civilians have been killed since the start of the war, a death toll that has not been updated in years and is certain to be far higher.
Last month, Saudi Prince Ahmed bin Abdelaziz – one of the few remaining sons of the founder of Saudi Arabia – told a group of protesters in Britain’s capital that the wider royal family should not be blamed for what was happening in the region.
“There are specific people that are responsible. Don’t blame the entire family,” the prince said.
“In Yemen and elsewhere, our hope is that the war ends today before tomorrow.”
Asked who these individuals were, the prince said it “was the king and his heir apparent”, in reference to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS.
Campaigners have accused MBS, who also serves as defence minister, of being the “chief architect” of the Yemen war, which has led to what the UN has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The world body has warned some 8.4 million people “are a step away from famine”.
|More than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since Saudi Arabia intervened in the country’s war [Courtesy of Al Masirah]