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Saudi-led air strike kills 80 Yemeni civilians

Saudi-led air strike kills 80 Yemeni civilians
June 28, 2016
SANAA – A Saudi-led coalition air strike killed 80 people, including 37 Yemeni civilians, and wounded at least another 15 in the southern province of Lahj on Tuesday, residents said, a day after bombing attacks by Islamic State that killed 45 others. Yemen is more than 15 months into a war in which the Saudi-led coalition has intervened to prevent Iran-allied Houthis, who control the capital, from completing a takeover of the country and overthrowing the government. The fighting has enabled Islamist militants to gain territory and carry out attacks of their own, further destabilising the country. The air strike hit a village market for smuggled fuel in the Hayfan district, which lies near a frontline combat area for the pro-government forces fighting the Iran-allied Houthis. A spokesman for the Saudi-led alliance, which intervened in the fighting in March 2015 against the Houthis, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The attack comes a day after three Islamic State bombing attacks in the southern city of Mukalla targeted security forces who wrested the city from Al Qaeda control in April. A local security official on Tuesday that the death toll from the explosions had climbed to 45 people. Islamist militants have gained territory and freedom to operate thanks to the war, which has split Yemen's army and led US counter-terrorism personnel to quit the country last year, although pilotless drone strikes continue. Residents in the Al Qaeda-held town of Mahfad in southern Abyan province said a drone missile killed five militants when it hit the home of a local leader of the group late on Monday. Negotiators from the Houthi and government sides have been seeking a peace deal to end the fighting in UN-backed talks in Kuwait for over two months but have achieved few results. –Reuters