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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

After refugee camp, now Yemen factory workers killed in Hodaida air strike


An air strike on Yemen's Red Sea port of Hodaida has killed 23 workers at a dairy factory, medical sources said, in what appears to be one of the biggest cases of civilian deaths in a Saudi-led campaign against Houthi rebels.
Residents near the Hodaida dairy factory said it was located near an army camp loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, while medical sources in the city said the casualties had all been workers at the plant. The strike on Tuesday night had also destroyed a fuel store, the residents told Reuters news agency.
The incident is believed to have been part of an aerial campaign by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim states to stop Houthi fighters and former president winning control of the country and reinstating Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
However, after seven nights of bombings targeting both the Houthis and forces loyal to Saleh, the coalition has not managed to secure Hadi's control over his last remaining enclave of rule in the southern port of Aden, a key aim of the campaign.
The sound of gunfire and several large blasts were heard in Aden throughout the night, the Reuters news agency reported. Videos posted online, which could not be immediately confirmed, appeared to show fighting at an army base loyal to Saleh in the northeast of the city.
A raid at a coastal defence station at Maidi port in Hajja province north of Hodaida killed six soldiers, workers there said, while further strikes hit an army camp in Sanaa and a government facility in Saadeh in the north of Yemen.
In New York, the UN said late on Tuesday that at least 62 children had been killed and 30 wounded in fighting over the past week, and that an attack on a refugee camp in northern Yemen, which medics blamed on an air strike, broke international law.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein warned the country was "on the verge of total collapse".
Indians evacuated
Meanwhile, an Indian naval patrol boat picked up nearly 350 Indian nationals from the port of Aden on Tuesday night, and was expected to arrive in Djibouti during the day, a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said.
More than 4,000 Indians are believed to have been in Yemen when Saudi Arabia launched air strikes last week.
Negotiations are under way to allow evacuation flights into Sanaa, where the Indian community is concentrated, and receive permission to evacuate more from Hodaida, the spokesman said.

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