Atleast 50 dead in Yemen airstrikes, United Nations calls for independent investigation

One dead, several wounded after Saudi Arabia 'intercepts Yemen missile'

The bus was said to have been stationary when the airstrike hit as the driver stopped for drink, with most of the children still inside.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said the children were on a field trip when their bus was struck at a market in Dahyan, in the northern province of Saada.

It comes as the Saudi-led coalition that launched the missile announced it will investigate the deadly strike to help "clarify their circumstances" following the attack.

Since then, more than 10,000 people have been killed, and the coalition has been blamed by the United Nations for most of the civilian deaths.

"What is essential at this moment in time is to have a credible and independent investigation".

As the United Nations chief Antonio Guterres called for a prompt independent investigation into the airstrike, UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore issued a powerful statement condemning the attack.

"The question now is whether it will also be a turning point - the moment that must finally push the warring parties, UN Security Council and worldwide community to do what's right for children and bring an end to this conflict". Despite our repeated calls for respect of global humanitarian law, parties to the conflict in Yemen have acted with utter disregard. "Blatant disregard for rules of war when a bus carrying innocent schoolchildren is fair game for attack".

Chaos on the scene means confirming the number of dead and injured at this early stage has been hard.

It had said on its Twitter account on Thursday its medical team at the ICRC-supported hospital in Saada had received the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old. The hospital also received 48 injured people, including 30 children.

Yemeni tribal elders told the Associated Press that the bus was hit as it passed through Dahyan market and that it was transporting local civilians, including many school children. Verification is still ongoing and the charity says the figure could rise. More than 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and more than half of the country's health facilities are out of service, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The Western-backed alliance had said the air strikes had targeted missile launchers and were carried out in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law, describing them as a "legitimate military action".

Masirah TV said on Friday the Houthis had fired a number of ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, targeting Jizan and Aseer provinces which lie at the border.

"Today's attack in Saada was a legitimate military operation ... and was carried out in accordance with global humanitarian law", the coalition said in the Arabic-language statement carried by SPA.

Impoverished Yemen has been embroiled in the war pitting the Saudi-led coalition against the Iran-aligned Houthis since March 2015.

The United States, France and Britain - three of the five permanent council members - have supported the Saudi coalition in its military campaign, but have expressed concern over the heavy toll on civilians.

Since the war began in 2015, nearly 10,000 people have been killed in what the United Nations has labelled as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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