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US urges investigation into deadly bombing of hospital in Yemen

Call for Saudi-led coalition to probe Tuesday's attack which charity says killed seven people, including four children
The US military provides intelligence and logistics support to Saudi forces (AFP)

A US State Department spokesman on Thursday has called the deadly bombing earlier this week of a Save the Children-supported hospital in Yemen "awful" and urged the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen to conduct an investigation.

Save the Children said a missile on Tuesday struck a petrol station near the entrance to a rural hospital it supports in the northwestern part of the country, about 100km from the city of Saada.

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The 9.30am strike killed seven people, including four children, the organisation said in a statement.

The US military provides intelligence and logistics support to Saudi forces, and up until recently, it was also assisting with mid-air refuelling of Saudi jets.

"I saw those reports, they're awful. The United States takes them seriously and we're seeking more information," spokesman Robert Palladino told a media briefing.

"We understand that the Saudi-led coalition has referred the results of this targeting operation to the joint incidents assessment team for their review and their investigation."

'Transparent investigation'

Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in Yemen in 2015 in a bid to restore President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi's government after Houthi rebels in late 2014 ousted it from power in the capital, Sanaa.

Last year, UN experts wrote a report on the Saudi-led coalition's blockade around Yemen, blasting the coalition's air strikes on "markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities".  

Among the dead in the hospital attack were a health worker and the person's two children, as well as two other children and a security guard. Eight people also were wounded, Save the Children said.

Palladino said the US was pushing all sides in the conflict to take steps to avoid actions that endanger civilians and civilian infrastructure.

"The United States urges a transparent investigation by the joint incidents assessment team into these alleged incidents as well as swift implementation of the resulting recommendations," he added.