Saudi-led airstrikes pound Yemeni capital

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By News Agency of Nigeria

Airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition on Thursday hit several targets in Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sana’a, a local health official linked to the Houthi rebels said.

The coalition, fighting the Iran-allied Houthis in Yemen, said it had unleashed a series of airstrikes against rebel military targets in Sana’a, two days after the rebels claimed a drone attack against oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

The local health official linked to the Houthi rebels on Thursday said no fewer than six civilians were killed in the raid.

Youssef al-Hadiri, a spokesman for the rebel-controlled Health Ministry, told dpa that no fewer than 41 civilians were also injured in the Saudi-led bombardment of a residential district in Sana’a.

Local residents said the coalition jets mounted two airstrikes in central Sana’a, resulting in civilian casualties and damaging several houses.

The coalition has intensified air attacks in Sana’a since Wednesday, after a lull of several weeks.

The alliance said in a statement that the air operation in Sana’a had “precisely fulfilled its goals” without giving details.

“The coalition forces will not relent in chasing all terrorist elements across Yemen,’’ the statement carried by the official Saudi news agency SPA added.

The latest escalation comes amid growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia.

Yemen has been embroiled in a devastating conflict between the Saudi-backed government and the Houthis since late 2014.

The feud has intensified since March 2015, when the Houthis advanced on the government’s temporary capital of Aden, prompting Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies to start an air campaign against the Shiite group.