Yemen centre for blind 'hit in Saudi coalition air raid'

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Noor Centre for the Blind in Safiah district of Saana hit on Monday evening, according to local reports

A photograph of damage to the Noor Centre for the Blind (Badi' al-Zaman/Twitter)
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Last update: 
Tuesday 5 January 2016 14:10 UTC
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A centre for blind people in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa has been reportedly hit in an air raid by the Saudi-led coalition.

According to local reports, the Noor Centre for the Blind in the Safiah district of Sanaa was struck on Tuesday morning, along with an empty wedding hall.

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The third floor of the centre was hit at 1am on Tuesday morning. There have been no reports of casualties.

The centre was funded by the Yemeni Social Fund Development, a project of the World Bank.

Mohammed al-Daylami, the deputy manager of the centre told the Saba news agency that “the targeting of the centre proves that the Saudi coalition has no clue about the rules and ethics of war".

"What did the disabled children do to do deserve being hit by an air strike?" he asked. "Where are the NGOs? Where is the UN?"

Air strikes overnight also struck the port city of Hodaida and the southwestern city of Taiz.

Saudi Arabia has been criticised for its handling of the war in Yemen, which, according to the UN, has killed more than 8,000 people since the Saudi coalition began air strikes against Houthi rebels in March.

Human Rights Watch has described Saudi coalition air strikes in residential areas of Yemen as "unlawful" and has called for an investigation.

“How many civilians will die in unlawful air strikes in Yemen before the coalition and its US ally investigate what went wrong and who is responsible," asked Joe Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East director.

“Their disregard for the safety of civilians is appalling."

The coalition was also blamed for an airstrike hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Sanaa in December.

The Houthis have also been criticised by HRW for attacks on civilians areas, kidnapping and blockading supplies of aid.

On Tuesday, Houthi rebels fired Katyusha rockets at the city of Mareb.

A curfew was imposed in Aden on Monday after fighting in the south of the country left at least 22 people dead.

A formal ceasefire agreed on 15 December between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis formally ended over the weekend.

The war in Yemen has led to a huge humanitarian crisis in the country. About 80 percent of Yemen's population are now thought to be in need of aid.

The power vacuum has also led to territory being captured by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State group.

On Monday, AQAP sparked outrage after stoning to death a woman in Mukalla on claims of adultery and prostitution.