A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a police building in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, killing at least 26 people and injuring nearly 15, reports The Associated Press (AP), citing security officials loyal to Iran-allied Shiite rebels known as Houthis.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports, “Two police sources said the number of deaths in the strike against the police building has risen to 25, most of whom were policemen. They could not provide a breakdown of the number of policemen and civilians killed. More than 30 were wounded, the sources said.”
The security officials cited by AP said an estimated 30 more people are believed to still be trapped under the rubble of the devastated building in central Sanaa.
“Security forces swiftly sealed off the area as earth-moving equipment arrived to help with the search for bodies and survivors under the debris,” reports AP. “The officials initially announced that 20 people were killed, but later said that six bodies were unearthed from under the debris.”
“Police vehicles parked in the facility’s courtyard were destroyed and nearby homes suffered some damage, they said, adding that “the dead and wounded were policemen and Houthi rebels.”
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have been targeting the Houthis rebels and their allies, forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, since March 2015. The Houthis and their allies, who took over parts of Yemen, including Sanaa, have also been fighting armed units linked to the internationally recognized Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who was forced into exile last year.
“The Targeted building was partially used as a gathering point for security forces and on occasion used by the Houthis as an assembly point for forces headed to deployment elsewhere in Yemen,” notes AP.
“The airstrike happened shortly before midnight on Sunday, according to the officials, who had no further details,” it adds. “Reporters were barred from approaching the facility, they said, speaking Monday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.”
The Saudi-led coalition backs the government of President Hadi.
“Meanwhile, the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), a Nairobi-based humanitarian news agency, has announced the death of one of its contributors in Yemen,” notes AP. “In a statement, it said 35-year-old Almigdad Mohammed Ali Mojalli was killed Sunday just outside Sanaa in an ‘apparent’ airstrike.”
“Mojalli also contributed from Yemen to Western media outlets, including Voice of America and Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, said the statement,” it adds. “The fighting in Yemen has, since last March, killed more than 5,800 people.”
Citing eyewitnesses and medics, Reuters reports that, on Sunday, six people were killed and several other wounded when a suicide bomber detonated outside the home of the director of security for the port city of Aden, the temporary seat of Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
“Later on Monday, gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead a judge as he was leaving his home in Aden, witnesses and a local security official said,” it adds.
President Hadi’s loyalist “seek to wrest Sanaa from the Houthis with support from a Saudi-led coalition,” notes Reuters.