45 dead in air strike on Yemen refugee camp: IOM

#YemenWar

On day five of Saudi strikes on Yemen, 45 refugees are killed in a tented camp in northern Yemen

More than 10,000 displaced people live in Al-Mazrak camp on Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia (UNHCR)
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Monday 30 March 2015 17:43 UTC
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At least 45 people were killed on Monday when an air raid struck a camp for displaced people in northwest Yemen, the International Organization for Migration said.

"IOM is reporting 45 dead among internally displaced persons, 65 injured (and counting)," spokesman Joel Millman told AFP by email.

Earlier Doctors Without Borders reported at least 15 dead in the strike.

Al-Mazrak Camp is home to at least 17,000 people displaced by the fighting between the Houthis and Yemeni government from 2004 to 2010, largely in the northern Sa'dah governorate.

The airstrike on the camp, located at the Saudi-Yemen border, comes after a Saudi-led Arab coalition's fifth night of bombing on the country and also as Houthis and forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh reportedly continue to push towards the southern city of Aden.

President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi temporarily took refuge in Aden earlier this month after Houthi rebels took over the capital, but fled to the Saudi capital Riyadh last week.

Yemen's Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin, who is allied to Hadi, told a press conference in Riyadh on Monday that he and the rest of the staff of Yemen's Foreign Ministry have also relocated to Saudi Arabia on a temporary basis.

The coalition has vowed to keep up the raids until the rebels, who are supported by Iran, give up their fight against Hadi, whom Saudi Arabia considers the legitimate ruler of Yemen.

It is not yet known whose forces were responsible for Monday's bombing at al-Mazrak Camp - Yassin has accused the Houthis of being behind what he called an "explosion" at the camp.

Fifth night of strikes

Throughout Sunday night, fighter jets roared in the skies above Yemen, striking sites around the capital Sanaa until dawn.

Positions held by the Houthi rebels and soldiers of the renegade Republican Guard overlooking the presidential palace are believed to have been targeted.

A Republican Guard camp in south Sanaa was also hit, witnesses said.

In the area around Marib, 140 kilometres (90 miles) east of Sanaa, radar facilities and surface-to-air missile batteries were targeted, local officials said.

In the country's south, forces allied to former Yemeni president Saleh - who back the Houthis - were a mere 30 kilometres outside of Aden on Monday, according to the Saudi-owned news channel al-Arabiya.  

Inside Aden, Houthi militias have been clashing with forces loyal to Hadi and were still fighting in the northern part of the city on Monday as the Houthis attempted to push into the city centre.

Hadi loyalists told Al Jazeera that they have recaptured Aden airport, which has changed hands several times in recent days. 

However, sources on the ground told Sky News Arabia that Houthi fighters had regained control of parts of the airport.



Saleh's son dismissed as ambassador to UAE

Officials said on Monday that Ahmed Ali Saleh, son of ex-strongman president Ali Abdullah Saleh, had been sacked as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the coalition conduction airstrikes on Yemen.

Ahmed Ali Saleh was relieved of his duties at the demand of the UAE, according to a Gulf diplomatic official who did not want to be named.

A presidential aide confirmed that current President Hadi had dismissed Saleh, who was appointed to the post after his father's overthrow but is believed to have remained in Yemen.

The Houthis and allied renegade military units have overrun much of Yemen and prompted Hadi to flee what had been his last remaining refuge in the main southern city Aden.

Dozens of people have been killed in several days of clashes in Aden, and Hadi's aides have said he has no immediate plan to return there.