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Saudi attack kills three women and six children from Yemeni family

The Saudi air strike took place before dawn but not clear whether the family home was hit by mistake
Locals scour rubble looking for survivors after a family home was hit by a Saudi air strike in North Yemen (Screengrab: @YemenInvincible)

Three women and six children from the same family were killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on their home in northern Yemen on Friday, a local health official said.

Yemen has been torn by a civil war in which the exiled government of President Abd Rabbuh Hadi, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, is trying to roll back gains made by the Iran-aligned Houthi group which controls most of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.

The head of the local health department, Dr Abdel-Ilah al-Azzi, said the attack at dawn on the family home of Taha al-Dharafi in Mahda district on the southwestern outskirts of Saada city, also injured three other people.

"We are recording all the crimes of the enemy and we will not forget them," Azzi said. "All the criminals will be put on trial soon, God willing," he added.

All the criminals will be put on trial soon, God willing

- Abdel-Ilah al-Azzi, doctor

According to local activists, the youngest victim of the Saudi airstrike was two years old. The majority of the victims were under the age of 18. 

Three men were also injured by the Saudi airstrike according to local activists. 

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition did not respond to a request for a comment.

It was not immediately clear if the house was hit by mistake, but the coalition says it does not target civilians.

Killed while sleeping

A family relative, who declined to be identified, said the attack happened before dawn while the family slept. He said the bodies were taken to the morgue while rescue workers continued to search for a missing woman in the rubble of the house.

Pictures from the scene showed the house completely destroyed by the strike. Residents who rushed to the scene were afraid to start rescue work while aircraft hovered overhead.

Saada, a stronghold of the Houthi group, which hails from the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam, has been repeatedly hit by air strikes since the coalition of Arab states joined the civil war in March 2015.

They see the war as an attempt by Iran to expand its influence in Yemen.

At least 25 Yemenis were killed in June when Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck a market in the Saada province.

And in March, another coalition air strike killed 22 people and wounded dozens in a market in western Yemen near the Red Sea fishing town of Khoukha.

Khoukha and the nearby city of Hodeidah are controlled by the Houthis who overran Sanaa in 2014 and moved south to Aden in 2015 forcing Hadi and his administration to flee into exile.

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