Airstrike on children's bus in Yemen kills at least 20

Residences in Jizan hit by the shrapnel after Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces intercepted a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi rebels. SPA

Residences in Jizan hit by the shrapnel after Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces intercepted a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi rebels. SPA

"Targeting Saudis and residents in Saudi is a red line", coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki later told Al Arabiya TV. It also received 48 wounded, including 30 children.

The military alliance says it does not target civilians and has set up an investigation committee into alleged mass casualty air strikes which have mostly cleared the coalition of any blame.

"Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of 10", Johannes Bruwer, head of delegation for the ICRC in Yemen, said in a further Twitter post.

A spokesman for the Red Cross in Sanaa told AFP the toll was not final as casualties from the attack were taken to several hospitals.

One person was killed in that attack, Saudi state media reported.

The Saudi-led Coalition, which has been conducting a military campaign to oust the Houthi rebels, didn't immediately respond to CNN questions. "This is why we need an independent investigation into attacks on civilians so that perpetrators can be held to account", Ghaly added.

"We call on the parties to take appropriate measures to protect civilians", she said.

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The Save the Children charity, quoting its staff, said that at the time of the attack the children were on a bus heading back to school "from a picnic when the driver stopped to get a drink".

The world has forgotten Yemen's bloody war, but when you look at these young victims - their tiny bodies, some still struggling for life - you won't be able to forget them.

"We are unable to verify the details at this moment", Save the Children wrote on August 9.

Most of the images of the children hit by this airstrike are so gruesome the broadcasting rules don't allow us to show them - but a warning, the report still contains distressing images.

Saudi Arabia and Sunni Muslim allies have been fighting in Yemen for more than three years against the Houthis, who control much of north Yemen including the capital Sanaa and drove the government into exile in 2014.

Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

He said the rebels have "ballistic missiles threatening our national security, Saudi cities and villages on the border".

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On Wednesday night, Col. Al-Maliki stated that at (20:34) the Coalition Air Defense detected a ballistic missile launch from Northern Amran in Yemen, aimed at Saudi Arabia.

Col. Al-Maliki affirmed that the leaders and militants responsible for launching ballistic missiles and targeting civilians would be held accountable under the Coalition's efforts to prevent terrorist elements from compromising regional and global security.

Thursday's attack marks a grim milestone in a war that lately has seen yet another escalation, as coalition-backed Yemeni government forces have made a recent push to reclaim the key port city of Hodeidah from rebels.

Fragments from the Houthi missile launched at Jizan Industrial City killed one Yemeni civilian and wounded 11, Saudi state media said earlier on Thursday.

Global aid groups were quick to condemn the air strike.

Yemen's war has left almost 10,000 people dead since 2015 and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The Saudi coalition has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015.

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