Calls for investigation into deadly Yemen school bus attack

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Declarations of outrage were followed by demands for an immediate investigation on Thursday after reports that the US -backed Saudi coalition slaughtered dozens of innocent civilians, including many children traveling on a school bus, when it bombed an area near a crowded market in Yemen. "[ICRC] sending additional supplies to hospitals to cope with the influx".

The ICRC said on its Twitter account that its medical team at the ICRC-supported hospital in Saada had received the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old.

"Today's attack in Saada was a legitimate military operation. and was carried out in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law", the Arabic-language coalition statement said, quoting spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki.

They also report the hospital took in 40 injured, 30 of them children.

Responding to the airstrike on Thursday, UNICEF Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere said, "does the world really need more innocent children's lives to stop the cruel war on children in Yemen?"

Saudi Arabia backs Yemen's internationally recognized government and has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015.

Saudi Arabia shot down a missile fired by the Huthis on Wednesday, with debris killing a Yemeni man and wounding 11 others, the coalition said.

Houthi militants responsible for firing ballistic missiles and targeting civilians "will be held accountable", said the Saudi statement.

The coalition, which is backing Yemen's government in a war with the Houthis, said its actions were "legitimate".

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Col al Maliki said that the coalition targeted the Houthi militia members who were inside the bus and said that they were the planners and operators of the missiles launch pads.

The statement, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, also said the missile was launched "deliberately to target residential and populated areas".

The Western-backed alliance fighting the Iranian-aligned Houthi group in Yemen accused the Houthis of using children as human shields.

The children were traveling on a school bus that was hit by a Saudi coalition airstrike in Dahyan, the BBC reported.

The coalition acknowledged carrying out a "legitimate military action", but spokesman Turki al-Maliki told AFP claims that children were inside the bus were "misleading", adding that the bus carried "Huthi combatants".

"The air strikes often target civilians in Saada, so we appeal the global community to intervene to stop the Saudis killing them".

The strike was carried out by the Saudi Arabian-led coalition, which is backed in this war by the U.S.

The war in impoverished Yemen has left almost 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis in response to the coalition allegations.

The U.N. special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has been pushing to bring the warring parties to restart peace talks.

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