26 civilians killed in Saudi-led airstrike on hotel in Yemen

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-01 19:57:58|Editor: ying
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SANAA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- At least 26 civilians were killed early Wednesday when a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a hotel in Yemen's northern rebel-stronghold province of Saada, a provincial security official told Xinhua.

Dozens of others were wounded in the airstrike that hit the hotel in al-Layl popular market in Sahar district in south of the province.

The victims were Khat sellers, workers and shops' owners who used to rest in the hotel which is located at the heart of the market, the official said by phone on condition of anonymity.

The market was also used to be crowded with fighters loyal to Houthi rebel group which is fighting the Saudi troops few kilometers to the north of Sahar on the southern Saudi border city of Najran.

The strike is the latest among a series of airstrikes on the war-torn Arab country since the coalition launched a large-scale air campaign against the rebels in Yemen more than two and a half years ago.

On Oct. 18, a Saudi-led airstrike killed six members of a family, mostly children, in the northeastern province of Jawf, according to local officials and residents.

Saada, which borders the oil-rich Saudi Arabia, is the main stronghold of the Iranian-allied Yemeni Shiite Houthi rebels whom Saudi Arabia considers a major threat to the kingdom's national security and the international navigation in the Red Sea.

In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict to back the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against the Houthi rebels, who seized most of the country's northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa.

More than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the war with over 3 million others displaced, according to UN agencies.

The country has also been hit by a deadly cholera epidemic and is on the brink of mass famine.