Civilians wounded in Yemen air strikes

ABDO HYDER

The Saudi-led coalition conducted at least two airstrikes on the rebel-controlled areas of the Yemeni capital late Friday, targeting the defense ministry building, AFP reported citing eyewitnesses.

The coalition has targeted the nearby defence ministry in the past, leaving it heavily damaged, but the fresh strikes come amid a ratcheting up of tensions between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran, which backs the Huthi rebels.

Other three houses were partially destroyed in the airstrike, said the photographer and witnesses.

The coalition stepped up air campaign following the Yemeni rebel Houthi ballistic missile earlier last week that fell and exploded in King Khalid Airport north of Saudi capital Riyadh. Witnesses said the number of casualties may rise as injured are pulled from the rubble.

The official condemned the continuation of the Saudi-led aggression coalition to target residential neighborhoods and commit the most heinous crimes against the Yemeni people.

This week, UN aid chief Mark Lowcock warned the Security Council (UNSC) that Yemen would face "the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims", unless the blockade was lifted. Medical experts also warn that the blockade will worsen the country's cholera outbreak, which has affected nearly 1 million people.

Yemen has been immersed in a violent conflict between President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi's government and the Houthi Shia movement.

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