Arab coalition airstrike on Yemen mosque, school kills 29

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A missile attack on a mosque and school in the Yemeni port city of Aden killed at least 29 people and injured dozens of others, the Yemeni foreign minister said Thursday.

The Saudis were responsible for the attack, Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi said. The Saudi-led coalition said they “had nothing to do” with it.

Ahmed Ali Al-Seif, commander of the Houthi group’s army in Yemen, said two missiles hit the mosque and a teacher’s residence in a district outside Aden’s city center.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came on the anniversary of when a powerful earthquake struck the region.

The airstrikes and fighting over the past week have sent tens of thousands of people fleeing to Aden, a city that has been the site of clashes and unrest for the past two years.

On Wednesday, 20 people were killed in the city in airstrikes and fighting. On Thursday, Yemeni officials reported three airstrikes hit a region north of Aden, killing at least four people.

Human rights workers and aid workers said the Saudi-led coalition, in which the United Arab Emirates is playing a large role, has also been using cluster bombs in Yemen.

The United Nations said earlier this month that at least 9,000 people have been killed or wounded in Yemen’s conflict since April 2017.

The coalition, which began its campaign in March 2015, considers the Iran-aligned Houthis as terrorist groups.

The coalition says the Houthis fired a ballistic missile toward the capital, Sanaa, on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia’s defense minister said Wednesday that the missile that was intercepted near Riyadh airport was part of a ballistic missile campaign that the Saudi-led coalition is targeting.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been one of the biggest benefactors of Yemen’s reconstruction, which has taken place despite a war that has killed an estimated 10,000 people and led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The coalition, mostly backed by UAE troops, has helped the embattled Yemeni government, based in Aden, take control of much of the country’s south, including the port city of Aden. The coalition has also helped the South Yemen government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to regain control of cities and borders lost to the Houthis, who now control the capital, Sanaa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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