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Yemen: Five civilians killed, including a child, in Hodeidah

Warring parties accuse each other of the attack, with the Houthis threatening new attacks on Saudi Arabia
Yemen's civil war has cost the lives of thousands and displaced millions, which the UN says has led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis (AFP)

Five civilians, including a child, were killed by a shell in Yemen's strategic port city of Hodeidah on Sunday, with both warring sides blaming each other for the attack. 

The artillery shell struck a house near the airport in Hodeidah, which is controlled by Houthi fighters. 

A military official from the Saudi-backed government in Yemen blamed the Houthis for the attack. 

The official told AFP that five civilians, including a woman and child, were killed in their homes by mortar shell fire launched by the Houthis. 

The Houthi-run Saba news agency said the civilians had died from two Saudi-coalition air strikes.

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The violence comes amid heavy fighting in the Marib region,  as Houthi forces seek to wrest control of the government's last northern stronghold.

Cross-border attacks

The Houthis have also claimed responsibility for an attempted overnight air strike on Saudi Arabia, as they intensify their cross-border attacks on the kingdom. 

Yahya al-Saree, a spokesperson for the Houthis, told the Al-Masirah TV channel on Sunday that the group carried the attack "with a ballistic missile and 15 drones... targeting sensitive areas in the enemy's capital of Riyadh".

"Our operations will continue and will expand as long as the aggression and siege on our country continues," he said. 

Residents and journalists on social media said they heard multiple loud explosions over Riyadh. 

Footage on Saudi state TV showed the night sky lighting up with a bright flash. 

The Saudi coalition also confirmed that it had intercepted six Houthi drones targeting the kingdom, including the southern cities of Khamis Mushait and Jizan. 

The Houthis control most of northern Yemen, with the Saudi-backed government struggling to defend Marib province, which is 120km from the capital, Sanaa. 

Yemen's grinding conflict has claimed at least 233,000 lives, mostly civilians, including around 100,000 combat deaths, the UN's humanitarian office said in December. It has also displaced millions, according to international organisations. 

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