Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Somali refugees killed, at least 25 injured in Yemen airstrike

Somali refugees killed, at least 25 injured in Yemen airstrike

According to the United Nations - which has described the catastrophe in Yemen as the " largest humanitarian crisis" - more than 7,400 people have died in the conflict since March 2015.

It is believed at least 80 refugees had been rescued after the incident, which occurred near the Bab-el-Mandeb strait late on Thursday (16 March).

Millman said he was unable to confirm if the attack had been carried out by an Apache helicopter gunship.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirmed "dozens of deaths and many dozens of survivors brought to hospitals".

The war in Yemen has killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced over 3 million people.

He said that panic erupted among the refugees when the helicopter opened fire.

The SABA agency, under the control of the internationally recognized government, says the attack took place during Friday prayers in the Marib province, east of the rebel-held capital.

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There was no comment from the coalition.

Coastguard authorities in the Houthi rebel stronghold of Hodeidah said a helicopter gunship attacked the vessel they were travelling on in the Red Sea.

Numerous wounded lost arms and legs in the strike, the Yemeni medical official told AP on condition of anonymity.

Al-Massirah Yemeni television reported that the Saudi-led warplanes targeted a boat carrying dozens of Somali immigrants off al-Hudaydah in Yemen. "I saw many men, women and children either killed or horribly wounded", he said. Mohammed Abdiker, emergencies director at the International Organization for Migration in Geneva, called the assault "totally unacceptable" and said those responsible should have checked who was aboard the boat before firing on it.

The coalition is the only party to the conflict with naval and air forces, and rights groups have documented hundreds of airstrikes in which civilians have been killed.

Most of the immigrants were coming back voluntarily from Yemen and heading towards Sudan, Somalia and other African countries, the security source said.

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