Monday August 31, 2015
In the midst of a war-fueled water crisis, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition reportedly bombed a water bottling plant in northern Yemen on Sunday, adding to mounting civilian casualties as the military onslaught enters its sixth month.
"The corpses of 36 workers, many of them burnt or in pieces, were pulled out after an air strike hit the plant this morning," resident Issa Ahmed told Reuters of Sunday's bombing in the province of Hajjah.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry put the number of civilians killed at 34, with dozens wounded.
Coalition spokesperson Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri denied that the bombing hit a civilian target. However, this claim contradicts reports by residents and medical officials.
The apparent bombing follows a series of attacks targeting civilian infrastructure and neighborhoods. Coalition strikes killed 65 people in Taiz late last week, the vast majority of them civilians. Furthermore, the bombing of a milk factory in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida in July killed 65 people.
In a report released earlier this month, humanitarian aid agency Amnesty International criticized the coalition's "pattern of strikes targeting heavily populated areas including civilian homes, a school, a market and a mosque. In the majority of cases no military target could be located nearby."